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Down syndrome is a congenital developmental disorder that is manifested by mental retardation, impaired bone growth and other physical abnormalities. This is one of the most common forms of mental retardation; it affects about 10% of patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals.
Patients with Down syndrome are characterized by the preservation of physical features characteristic of the early stage of fetal development, including narrow slanting eyes, which give patients an external resemblance to people of the Mongoloid race, which gave L. Down the reason to call this disease "Mongolism" in 1866 and propose an erroneous theory racial regression, or evolutionary rollback. In fact, Down syndrome is not racial and occurs in all races.
In addition to the already mentioned features of the structure of the eyes in patients with Down syndrome, other characteristic signs are revealed: a small rounded head, smooth moist edematous skin, dry thinned hair, small rounded ears, a small nose, thick lips, transverse grooves in the tongue, which is often sticking out. since it does not fit in the mouth. The toes are short and thick, the little finger is relatively small and usually curved inward. The distance between the first and second toes on the hands and feet is increased. The limbs are short, the height, as a rule, is significantly below normal. Sexual characteristics are poorly developed, and, probably, in most cases, the ability to reproduce is absent.
The intellect of patients is usually reduced to the level of moderate mental retardation. The IQ ranges from 20-49, although in some cases it may be above or below these limits. Even in adult patients, mental development does not exceed the level of a normal seven-year-old child. Handbooks traditionally describe traits of people with Down syndrome such as humility that allows them to adapt well to hospital life, affection combined with stubbornness, lack of flexibility, a tendency to imitate, and a sense of rhythm and love of dancing. However, systematic studies in England and the United States do not support this image.
People with Down Syndrome are ill and possibly contagious to those around them. The danger of infection is out of the question. After all, Down syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by the presence of an additional chromosome in human cells. The extra, 47 chromosome becomes the reason for the appearance of a number of physiological characteristics, as a result of which the child, somewhat later than his peers, goes through the stages of development common to all children. People with Down syndrome are not sick, rather they are classified as people with disabilities or people with special needs.
Children with Down syndrome cannot be helped. It should be remembered that Down syndrome is a set of signs that lend themselves to competent pedagogical correction. The success of this correction depends on how early and comprehensively it is started.
A child with Down syndrome is not educable. Misconception. Such children only differ in some developmental delay, and their learning ability is the same as that of other children. Children with Down syndrome develop most effectively in a family surrounded by parental love and attention, which are the main stimuli for the baby.
Children with Down syndrome are born to those who lead an immoral lifestyle. This is not true. Of the 700 newborns, one is born with Down syndrome. This ratio takes place in different countries, climatic zones, social strata. It is exactly the same everywhere and does not depend on the lifestyle of the parents, their habits, skin color or nationality (moreover, the parents, as a rule, have a normal set of chromosomes). Boys and girls are born with the same frequency.
Families often break up because of a child with Down syndrome. Not at all. More often than not, completely different reasons lead to the breakdown of families.
People with Down syndrome are aggressive, inadequate, and generally dangerous to society. On the contrary, people with Down syndrome are capable of sincere love and faithful friendship, they are generous and affectionate. At the same time, each of them has its own character, and the mood, like ordinary people, is changeable.
There are fewer people with Down syndrome in the CIS countries than in Europe. This impression is formed because in Europe people with Down syndrome live in families, are included in the state aid program, and society treats them as equal members. And in the CIS countries, many families abandon a child with Down syndrome in a maternity hospital, as a result of which such a person ends up in a specialized orphanage, where he often spends his whole life.
In our family, a child with Down syndrome cannot be born - we are all healthy. Unfortunately, the appearance of such a child is a genetic accident that can occur in any family.
It is best for children with Down syndrome to stay in a specialized institution where they will be supervised by qualified professionals. It should be remembered that in specialized and non-specialized boarding schools and orphanages, children often develop hospitalization syndrome. This is a violation of children's mental and personal development, caused by the separation of the infant from the mother and stay in a special institution. As a result, intellectual, emotional and physical development is inhibited, which in no way contributes to the improvement of the condition of a child with Down syndrome.
All friends and acquaintances turn away from a family in which a child with Down syndrome is raised. This is completely untrue. Of course, some people may not adequately respond to "special" children, but most are sympathetic and offer effective help to parents. It should be remembered that others will treat such a child exactly as parents treat him, and build their attitude towards the baby accordingly.