What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition where a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. There are three different types of Down Syndrome, including: 

  • Trisomy 21; 

  • Mosiac Down Syndrome; and

  • Translocation Down Syndrome

Screening & Diagnosis

Many times, Down Syndrome is diagnosed prenatally, or before a baby is born. Two methods of testing to determine the probability of a baby having Down Syndrome are chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis. Other times, a baby is diagnosed with Down Syndrome after birth based on physical features, such as almond-shaped eyes that slant upward, low muscle tone, small ears and a single crease along the hand known as a palmar crease. 

After the Diagnosis

Many families experience a range of emotions when their loved one is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It is important that families take their time to process their emotions and concerns. 

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Finding support

It is crucial that you find support for yourself and your loved ones. Talk to your children, your family, your significant other and your friends about your struggles and times of triumph. Beyond your immediate circle, you can find support through:

  • Your faith community

  • Counselors

  • Other parents

  • Online groups and listservs

Ask for help

There are times that may be difficult for your family. Be sure to ask for help, even if it is for something simple such as picking up a prescription. Getting time to recharge is critical for your well-being. 

Interventions

There are a variety of interventions that can be used for your loved one who has Down Syndrome. They include: 

  • Speech Therapy; 

  • Physical Therapy; 

  • Occupational Therapy; 

  • Behavioral Therapy; and

  • More

Future Planning

Many families experience a range of emotions when their loved one is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It is important that families take their time to process their emotions and concerns. 

​​

Finding support

It is crucial that you find support for yourself and your loved ones. Talk to your children, your family, your significant other and your friends about your struggles and times of triumph. Beyond your immediate circle, you can find support through:

  • Your faith community

  • Counselors

  • Other parents

  • Online groups and listservs

Ask for help

There are times that may be difficult for your family. Be sure to ask for help, even if it is for something simple such as picking up a prescription. Getting time to recharge is critical for your well-being. 

Resources

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© 2023 by The Arc of Northern Shenandoah Valley. 

Tel: 540-692-9650

Email: shenvalleyarc@gmail.com

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