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  • Kenko Desk

Beyond Label: Understanding Down Syndrome

It is a serious disease, but it is not the end of the world. Learn more and discover all about Down Syndrome.

Life is strange, especially with diseases. We all get dealt different hands, and a chromosome here and there can radically change how we live our lives. Down Syndrome is one such genetic condition that leads to mental and physical differences in humans.

It is uncommon among people and affects 1 in 692 people in India. Though that number can not be exact as our diverse population has more than 4500 anthropologically defined groups

Let's understand more about Down Syndrome in detail.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects the development of cognitive abilities and physical features. It is caused by a copy of chromosome 21, which leads to developmental delays and physical differences.

There are three types of Down syndrome:

  1. Trisomy 21

  2. Mosaicism

  3. Translocation.

Trisomy 21 is the most common type, accounting for about 95% of cases. It occurs when there is an extra copy of chromosome 21 in every cell in the body.

Mosaicism occurs when there is a mix of cells in the body, some with the typical 46 chromosomes and some with the extra chromosome 21. This type of Down syndrome is the least common, occurring in about 1% of cases.

Translocation occurs when a part of chromosome 21 breaks off and attaches to another chromosome. While the total number of chromosomes is still 46, the extra genetic material from chromosome 21 can lead to developmental delays and other features of Down syndrome. This type of Down syndrome accounts for about 4% of cases.

Typical Physical and Developmental Characteristics

While every person with Down Syndrome is unique, common physical and developmental characteristics may be present. These can include:

  1. Low muscle tone

  2. Delayed speech and language development

  3. Difficulties with fine motor skills, such as using utensils or writing

  4. Intellectual disabilities

  5. Short stature

How to Help Someone with Down Syndrome

People with Down Syndrome may occasionally experience complex emotions and feelings like anyone else. It's essential to be supportive and understanding of their feelings while helping them find ways to cope and feel better. Here are some ways to help someone with Down Syndrome who's feeling down:

Validate their feelings: It's important to let someone know their feelings are valid and understandable. Avoid dismissing or minimising their emotions.

Offer support: Depending on the situation, you can offer support in different ways. This may include showing to spend time with them, helping them to problem-solve, or simply being a shoulder to cry on.

Encourage self-care: Encourage the person to engage in activities that they enjoy, such as listening to music, taking a walk, or reading a book. Self-care can help to boost mood and reduce stress.

Provide resources: If someone is struggling with a specific issue, provide them with resources that may be helpful. This could include support groups, counselling services, or educational materials.

Listen: Sometimes, all someone needs is someone to listen to them. Please give them your full attention and tell them you're there for them.

Treatment and Support

Down syndrome has no cure, but early intervention and support can help individuals reach their full potential. This includes speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and educational support.

Supportive services such as social skills and vocational training can also help individuals with Down syndrome lead fulfilling lives as adults.

Don't let the health worries get to you. Get a health plan and protect yourself against rising medical costs. The OPD Individual Plan from Kenko Health gives access to benefits for OPD, medical bills and much more.


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