Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder.
Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called nondisjunction. No one knows why this occurs. However, it is known that the error occurs at conception and is not related to anything the mother did during pregnancy. It has been known for some time that the incidence of Down syndrome increases with advancing maternal age. However, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
It is important to remember that while children and adults with Down syndrome experience developmental delays, they also have many talents and gifts and should be given the opportunity and encouragement to develop them.
Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate impairments but it is important to note that they are more like other children than they are different.
That is the point I really want to make. Things come more difficult for my little Zuzu. Holding up her head is a HUGE accomplishment. Doing tummy time and learning to sit up is like running a little marathon for her. She has to work harder and longer and more often.
Children with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of infection, respiratory, vision and hearing problems as well as thyroid and other medical conditions. 40% have a congenital heart defect while others fight leukemia.
BUT they are more like other children than they are different.
Zuzu has the prettiest blue eyes coupled with the longest lashes. she has a huge gummy grin that she takes advantage of which makes you laugh and sometimes cry. she will stare into your eyes healing your soul. She giggles at her big sister. She loves the bath splashes and plays as long as we will let her. She makes funny faces the first time she tastes baby food. She hates tummy time. She loves to cuddle and be kissed. She strokes my face grabs my nose and pulls my lip. She is just an adorable little girl with the world at her finger tips just like yours.
My wish is that babies, kids, teenagers and adults with Down Syndrome will have equal opportunity. That people won't look at their adorable distinguished faces and label them! That people won't look at the special shape of their eyes and set them aside in the classroom or workplace. I wish and hope that people will realize that everyone even people with Down syndrome have gifts and talents. Most of which will influence us, help us and change us for the better.
God made these rare special unique individuals for a reason. And that reason may be different for everyone.
Please oh please see them for the unique individuals they are and not just someone with Down syndrome.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month! And thanks for everyone's love support and acceptance.