Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingPregnancy · 1 decade ago

down syndrome?

my sister just called me on the phone crying...

telling me that her baby that she is pregnant

with has a chance of having down syndrome...

what does down syndrome do to a child/baby?

and, how does it affect the child/baby physicaly?

serious answers only please!

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    "what does down syndrome do to a child/baby?''

    what it does is affect the development of the baby...they may have their milestones such as crawling, walking, talking at a later date than a 'typical' child of the same also produces certain characteristics.

    the most common form of down syndrome is Trisomy 21 (90% of people who have DS have this form). With Trisomy 21 all the cells in the body are affected and they have an extra 21st chromosome. because of this down syndrome produces certain characteristics (not all of these characteristics are present in every person/child born with depends... and is a genetic crap shoot...they still inherit the looks from their parents). but the most common characteristics are: (going from head to toe here...) brushfield spots (white spots in the irises of the eyes that make it look like their eyes sparkle all the time), epicanthal fold on the eye lid (gives them the appearance of Asain decent), ears set a bit lower on the head, shorter nose bridge, larger tongue, shallow pallet (sometimes this causes the tongue to stick out a bit), thicker fungal or nuchal fold on the back of the neck, simean crease on the palm of the hand (single solid line that runs across the hand), shorter thicker fingers, shorter stockier body, sandal toe (large gap between the big toe and the next) flat feet. and then there are delays in learning...they are just doesn't mean that they do not learn....children born with DS will learn at their own pace and they do accomplish their goals though it may take them a bit longer than "typical' kids their age.

    ''how does it affect the child/baby physicaly?

    congenital heart defects are sometimes present in kids with DS. sometimes they will need surgery to correct, other times it repairs itself. they also may have intestinal blockages and other gastro-intestinal problems that may need medical attention to fix. sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils and adnoids and of course the ever present low muscle tone. with the muscle tone it doesn't mean they are weak, it means that their joints are very loose and flexible, physical therapy usually can help with this. and depending on the child the degree to which they have these conditions vary from child to child...not one is alike. ex: my son has always excelled in physical things, he walked earlier than most kids with down syndrome and has always been very active, his serious delay is in his speech but because he has been taught sign language since he was a baby he still has a fairly easy time communicating and he does know quite a few words and can understand everything we say to him.

    I knew my son would have DS at 22 weeks through an amnio (btw this is the only "test" besides a cvs that can determine DS because it looks at the actual chromosomes of the baby...not the protien levels in the mother's blood like an AFP does...which is inaccurate 85% of the time). when I first found out my son would have DS I cryed and mourned the loss of my "perfect" child and the dreams I had for him...but looking back over the past 4 1/2 yrs of his life I am so grateful he is part of it...just the way he my eyes he is perfect in every way and I have new dreams for him....he is the sunshine of my heart and brings so much joy to our family and so many new adventures that I have never experienced with my other boys. Our family does not think of him as a down syndrome child....that is just something he has, he is not defined by it...first and foremost he is my son and that is all that matters.....

    I wish your sister and your family all the best.

    Source(s): mom to a little boy with DS
  • 1 decade ago

    it looks like everyone has pretty much answered your question. i just wanted to add a couple things. i am a 27 year old mother of an almost 2 year old daughter with Down syndrome. first of all - as others have said, those tests give A LOT of false positives. secondly, since DS has been brought up, help your sister start learning about it now. the more you know, the less scary it will be! also, focus on the fact that this baby is still the baby she and your family have always dreamed of! my daughter is so freakin entertaining! :) she has made our immediate and extended family so much closer! the best part (in my eyes) is that although she isn't learning to walk or talk as quickly as other kids her age, she is still my little baby. how many 2 year olds do you know that will still let you rock them and love on them? she still does. it has given me a chance to love and enjoy her even longer........what a disguised blessing!! :) good luck to your sister!

    Source(s): mother of 22 month old with Down syndrome
  • 1 decade ago

    Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that stems from issues with the 21st chromosome. Downs' kids have a very distinctive look physically and typically have learning disabilities related to the condition.

    Testing can, and does frequently, produce a false positive. An aminocentsis can help to clarify her test results but is a somewhat risky procedure as there is a slight risk of miscarriage. She will hopefully be offered genetic counseling for options/suggestions/further testing and can always discuss the results and their meanings with her OB.

    Best of luck to you and your sis...check out more here at Wiki: and also at the nationsl Down Syndrome Society:

    Source(s): Mom to two (and another on the way!)...
  • 1 decade ago

    These tests are often false positives, and if not, they give a chance like 1 in 5000 or 1 in 250. Tell her not to worry right now, but tell her to look into having a child w/ DS just in case. I'm sure she has nothing to worrry about unless she is over 40.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the lowest chance they tell you is like 1 in 30.

  • im sorry to hear this, how far along is she?

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