Down syndrome is genetic disorder in which babies are born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. This disorder is also called as Trisomy 21. How a baby grows in the mother’s womb before birth is determined by chromosomes, and how the baby’s body functions after birth, and normally, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 is Down Syndrome, and it changes the typical development of the brain and the body, causing mental and physical challenges.
Most children with Down Syndrome have delayed mental and physical development. Approximately 45% of newborn babies with Down Syndrome have congenital heart defects, and many children also have an intellectual disability due to Down Syndrome. Although Down Syndrome continues throughout a person’s lifespan, children and adults can improve their ability to perform movement activities and everyday tasks with the help of physical therapists and other health professionals. Physical therapy can help prevent some of the complications of Down Syndrome such as developmental delay, obesity, and lower levels of heat or cardiovascular fitness.
Signs and Symptoms of Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome may be detected during pregnancy by screening or diagnostic tests. The disorder can be detected at birth by the baby’s physical characteristics, if not detected before birth. The symptoms of Down Syndrome generally include physical and intellectual differences that continue into adulthood and can range from mild to severe.
The physical characteristics include:
Additional symptoms as the baby develops include:
Physical therapists will work with the family and other healthcare professionals to reduce or prevent these symptoms. Strong education environments, good medical care include therapy from the preschool through high school and into the adulthood. Support from families can help keep adults with Down Syndrome as healthy as possible.
A child’s physiotherapists will perform an evaluation that includes: