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CONTAINSOverview of Down Syndrome: Characteristics: Affects on learning: Appropriate interventions - Research Paper Example

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Overview of Down Syndrome Down Syndrome is named after Dr Langdon Down, the British physician who was the first to recognize its distinctive characteristics in 1866. It results from the presence of extra genetic material from chromosome 21, a fact only understood following the publication of Jerome Lejuene’s work in 1959…
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CONTAINSOverview of Down Syndrome: Characteristics: Affects on learning: Appropriate interventions
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Download file to see previous pages There are enormous differences between different people with Down syndrome in terms of intellectual abilities, sociability, height, weight, health and personality. When Dr Langdon Down first outlined what he recognized as the characteristics of the condition, he provided a list of less than a dozen characteristics. Now, there are dozens of signs, provided by various authorities. Cunningham (2006) provides a useful guide of the signs which can usually be recognized at birth or soon after, and suggests that most of these main indications of Down syndrome are seen in around 50% of babies with the condition, and usually in between 60 and 80% of babies (p. 172). Before continuing a discussion of the behavioral and social characteristics of those with Down syndrome, it is worth running through the signs by which it is first diagnosed in newly-born babies. Additionally, these babies tend to be born earlier – perhaps by a week or two – than they are expected, and their weight at birth is usually lower than average. None of this is in itself distinctive, but the below main indications are. Among the most important are that the eyes slant upward and outward; the eye slits are narrow and short; the face has a flat appearance; the head is smaller than average; the fontanels – soft spots on the head – are larger than normal; ears are usually small and low-set; the mouth is usually smaller and the lips thinner; the baby’s neck is often slightly short; legs and arms may be short; about half of babies with Down syndrome have a single crease across the palm; the baby may have poor muscle tone, weaker reflexes, and a weaker cry (Cunningham, 2006, p.173-4). Using the original writings of Dr Langdon Down, and more recent writing on the subject, Cunningham (2006) describes the popular perception of a ‘Down syndrome personality’ as ‘affectionate, placid, docile, gentle, having a good sense of fun’ (p. 239). This perception is borne out by an examination of the main literature and studies on the subject. However, we should note that most early studies into the distinctive behavioral, emotional, and psychological traits of children and adults were conducted in large, specialist institutions. In the past, it was far more common for people with the condition to live in such institutions, but we now realize that the results of those studies were heavily influenced by the fact that the subjects had been raised in institutions. It is necessary to recognize that now, with more and more people with Down syndrome ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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