What is Down Syndrome?

You’re probably wondering what is Down syndrome and what causes it. I also didn’t know of its existence until I lost my sister when she was barely a year old. At that time,  words like a hole in the heart, slow growth, breathing problems, and trisomy 21 kept being repeated around me.

I was just twelve years so I could not understand. All I knew was every time my sister breastfed, she’d choke on the milk. She frequently had digestion problems so constipation was the order of the day. She also suffered from pneumonia which kept on recurring.

At eight months, she could not support her head on her own, she always held her tongue out (now I understand that it is a characteristic associated with Down Syndrome) and her eyes were slanted. The bridge between her eyes was flat. Years later when I joined High school, I came across Trisomy 21 in my biology class and this time my interest was triggered.

Down Syndrome is a congenital disorder arising from having an extra copy of the chromosome 21. The extra copy can full or partial. You see, genes are the reason why our bodies work and function the way they do. If even a minor alteration occurs, it can have far reaching effects.

It is easy to tell that someone has Down syndrome because some of the traits can be seen i.e. an upward slant to the eyes, flat nose, small stature, low muscle tone and single deep crease  across the center of the palm. Each individual may possess these traits to a different degree. Down Syndrome will involve birth defects, intellectual disabilities, heart defects, visual and hearing impairments.

Anyone regardless of race or economic ability can be born with Down syndrome. However, babies born to women aged 35 years and above are more predisposed. Maternal age is the only factor that has been linked to an increased chance of having a baby with Down syndrome.

Sources: NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society) www.ndss.org

Stanford children Health


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Janet minoo says:

    Thank you . Am informed


  2. Dssk says:

    Thank you Tes. We have shared your link on our site.


  3. MARY NDUNGU says:

    Thanks Wanjugu for the information.
    would you know of any school kids with DS (private ) along Waiyaki way or Lavington upto Ngong road area?


    1. wanjugunderi says:

      I apologize for the late reply. I recently moved my site to tesrichard.co.ke. Kindly follow me.

      About your inquiry, kindly let me find out an get back to you by tomorrow.my email address is nderiteresa@gmail.com

      Teresa Nderi


Thanks for stopping by.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.