Down syndrome is a condition that is caused by an error in cell division. This results in an extra copy of chromosome 21, which can lead to developmental delays and various other health problems. Although Down syndrome cannot be cured, early diagnosis and intervention can improve the quality of life for people with the condition. That's why Down syndrome screening is so important. 

Screening tests can help identify babies at risk of down syndrome so they can access the support and services they need early. In some cases, Down syndrome screening may also be used to decide on pregnancy termination. However, it is important to note that down syndrome is not a death sentence, and many people with the condition live full and happy lives. With early diagnosis and support, people with down syndrome can reach their fullest potential.

What Is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra chromosome results in physical and intellectual impairments that can range from mild to severe. People with this condition often have characteristic facial features, such as a flat face and small eyes. They may also have difficulty with learning and development. It is the most common cause of intellectual disability and occurs in people of all races and ethnicities. There is no cure for this condition, but early intervention and support can help people with the condition reach their full potential.

7 Facts About Down Syndrome

  1. It’s the most common form of intellectual disability.

Down syndrome is the most common form of intellectual disability, affecting approximately one in every 700 babies born in the United States. People with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays and may have difficulty with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and eating. However, this condition is a spectrum disorder, meaning that not all people with this condition experience the same symptoms or delays. Some people may be able to live independently, while others may need lifelong care. 

  1. It affects people of all races and ethnicities.

It can occur in people of any race or ethnicity. In fact, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, the prevalence of Down syndrome among African Americans is 1 in 758, compared to 1 in 664 for Caucasians. With this information, it's clear that this condition does not discriminate. This condition can affect anyone, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.

  1. People with Down syndrome often have characteristic facial features.

People with this condition often have several distinctive facial features. These can include a small nose, slanted eyes, and an upward tilt to the mouth. The skin may also have a distinctive appearance, with a tendency towards dryness and wrinkles. Although these facial features are often seen as a medical condition, they can also be seen as unique and beautiful. In recent years, there has been a growing acceptance of people with this condition, and their distinctive features are increasingly seen as a positive aspect of their identity.

  1. They have difficulties with hearing, vision, and learning. 

People with Down syndrome often experience hearing, vision, and learning difficulties. However, there is a great deal of variability in the severity of these symptoms. Some people with this condition have only minor problems, while others may be more seriously affected. Many people with this condition are able to live happy and fulfilling lives. They can overcome their difficulties and reach their full potential with the right support and accommodations.

  1. They tend to live around 60 years old. 

The average life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased significantly in recent years due partly to medical care advances. People with this condition also live healthier lives overall, thanks to increased public awareness about the importance of health and fitness for this population. As a result, many people with Down syndrome are now enjoying active and fulfilling lives well into their sixties and beyond.

  1. There is no cure for Down syndrome.

There is no cure for Down syndrome, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Early intervention programs provide support and guidance for families raising children with this condition. Research has shown that these programs can significantly improve cognitive and social skills. 

  1. People with Down syndrome can make significant contributions to society

In the past, people with Down syndrome were often seen as a burden on their families and the community. However, over the last few decades, there has been a growing recognition of the talents and abilities of people with this condition. As a result, people with Down syndrome are now working in various occupations, from customer service and retail to teaching and healthcare. 

They are also active in their communities, volunteering their time and sharing their skills with others. People with Down syndrome have a lot to offer society, and their contributions are highly valued by those who know them best.

Screening for Down Syndrome at BCOM

Broward Community and Family Health Centers (BCOM) are committed to providing high-quality health care to our patients. As part of this commitment, we offer a variety of screenings and tests to help identify potential health concerns. 

BCOM is dedicated to providing these vital services to our community. We offer Down syndrome screenings at all of our locations, and our staff is trained to provide support and resources to patients and families. For more information about our Down syndrome screening program, please call us at (954) 266-2999.