Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Basics of Down Syndrome essays

The Basics of Down Syndrome essays In 1866, J. Langdon Down was the first to formally describe what is now called Down Syndrome (DS). He described people who had flat and broad faces; roundish and laterally extended cheeks; large, thick lips; and long, thick tongues. These people also had mental deficits and were called idiots (Down, 1866). Brousseau (1928) gives a more thorough description of the physical as well as the mental characteristics of people with DS. Her list of physical features includes: small, rounded head; short, flat nose; small, slanted eyes; short stature; muscular weakness; small, round and frequently open mouth; and large abdomens. She noted that children with DS often displayed delays in gross motor activities, such as walking, and production and recognition of language as well as other cognitive processes. Beginning early, parents, and especially mothers, were blamed for their child's condition. Brousseau has a long list of causes for Mongolism; they are parental alcoholism, syphilis, tuberculosis, neuropathic heredity, consanguinity, age of parents, birth order, physical and mental state of mother during pregnancy, and injury to the fetus (1928). In 1907, Seguin listed four circumstances, which favor the conception of idiocy: endemic, hereditary, parental, and accidental. He believed "the share of the mother in the circumstances favoring the production of idiocy is the larger" (p. 31) Finally in 1959, geneticist Jerome Lejeune identified the chromosomal abnormality associated with DS and alleviated some pressure off parents who blamed themselves for their children's disorder. This abnormality, called Trisomy 21, arises when a child is born with three 21st chromosomes instead of the normal two (Patterson, Graw, Gusella, & Watkins, 1987). More recently it has been found that 95% of th e extra chromosomes come from the mother and older women are more likely to carry a fetus with DS to term (Ezzell, 1991). Because DS accounts for 1 in every 600 bi...

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