Down Syndrome As A Cognitive Disorder Essay

1315 WordsAug 11, 20146 Pages
Down syndrome as a cognitive disorder Down syndrome (DS) is relatively well known as a genetic disorder to the general public and children with this syndrome form one of the most readily identifiable groups of children with moderate to severe learning difficulties. It has been over 130 years since Langdon Down first described DS and 30 years since the presence of the defining extra copy of chromosome 21 was identified by Lejeune and his team of French geneticists. Delay in the development of cognitive capacities is a primary consequence of Down syndrome. Despite such cognitive delay, however, young children with Down syndrome can be empathic, affectionate and engaging (Wishart & Pitcairn, 2000). What is Down Syndrome Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that is typically caused when a baby is conceived with 47 chromosomes instead of the normal 46. Starting in the womb, this additional genetic material alters the course of the child’s development. The most common form of Down syndrome, Trisomy 21, occurs when a child is born with a full three copies of the 21st chromosome, rather than the normal two. In rare cases, Down syndrome is caused by other chromosomal arrangements. Children with Down syndrome typically have intellectual disabilities, hypotonia (low muscle tone) and characteristic facial features, such as upward slanted eyes and a flattened nasal bridge. Except

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