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Down Syndrome

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Down syndrome is the single most common form of genetically-based mental retardation. The syndrome occurs when the fetal cell development process creates an extra chromosome, resulting in profound abnormalities in physical and neurological developments. In the United States, over 4000 children annually are born with Down syndrome, effecting roughly 1 in every 900 births, making it one of the most common genetic birth defects.

Down Syndrome

While a definitive diagnosis of Down syndrome must be carried out at the chromosomal level, there are many physical traits and attributes that, taken together, can lead to a probable identification of the syndrome. The physical characteristics alone are numerous, including short, broad hands and feet, slanting eyes, flattened nose appearance, small, low-set ears, small head, small mouth and oral cavity, and a short neck.

Intellectually, children and adults with Down syndrome occupy a broad spectrum of functionality. The earlier that a positive diagnosis is made, the sooner that parents can begin using all available resources to engage the child in structured activities that have been designed to expand cognitive, social, emotional, and intellectual capacity.

In recent years, a number of studies have gauged the most effective instructional environments and techniques that can be used to foster learning and meaningful interaction among students with Down syndrome. While these findings have varied considerably according to the specific method or curricular subject being studied, one consistent recommendation remains fairly common.

Related Research Paper Topics

Down Syndrome and Autism - This research paper will present an overview of Down syndrome and autism, paired with a survey of the instructional techniques and modalities that can be used to effectively engage students with these conditions in the learning process.

Families of Down Syndrome Children - Families in which there are Down Syndrome children have special and often conflicting considerations each day of their lives.

Speech and Down Syndrome - When it comes to the issues that face children with Down Syndrome it is clear that educators have a wide range of issues to address in the classroom.