Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Down Syndrome?

How often does Down Syndrome occur?

Are there employment opportunities for adults with Down Syndrome?

Why the myth that people with Down Syndrome are always happy?

What is the type of education received by children with Down Syndrome?

What are some basic facts about Down Syndrome?

What causes Down Syndrome?

How is Down Syndrome diagnosed?

Why the myth that more children are born to mothers over the age of 35 years of age?

Are there varying levels of Down Syndrome?

Why is it so important to get involved in a support group?

What is DSAT?

How can I become involved in DSAT?

What does DSAT offer to new parents?

 

 

Answers:

Q: What is Down Syndrome?
A: Down Syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal abnormality, resulting when an individual possesses three, rather than the usual two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This excess genetic material affects a person's physical and cognitive development. People with Down syndrome will have some degree of mental retardation, usually in the mild to moderate range. There are many characteristics associated with Down syndrome, including low muscle tone, an enlarged tongue, a flat facial profile, and increased risk of related medical conditions. However, every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may posses these characteristics to different degrees or not at all. In addition, all of these characteristics are found in the general population.
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Q: How often does Down Syndrome occur?
A: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. One in every 800-1,000 live births is a child with Down syndrome, representing approximately 5,000 births per year in the United States alone. Today, Down syndrome affects more than 350,000 people in the United States. Eighty percent of children born with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old. However, as a woman ages, her chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome becomes greater.
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Q: Are there employment opportunities for adults with Down Syndrome?
A: Yes, businesses are seeking young adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions. They are being employed in small and medium sized offices by banks, corporations, nursing homes, hotels and restaurants. They work in the music and entertainment industry, in clerical positions, and in the computer industry. People with Down syndrome bring to their jobs enthusiasm, reliability and dedication.
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Q: Why the myth that people with Down Syndrome are always happy?
A: People with Down syndrome have a wide range of feelings just like everyone else. They respond to positive expressions of friendship, and they are hurt and upset by inconsiderate behavior.
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Q: What is the type of education received by children with Down Syndrome?
A: Children with Down syndrome have been included in typical academic classrooms in schools across the country. In some instances they are integrated into specific courses, while in other situations students are fully included in the regular classroom for all subjects. The degree of mainstreaming is based on the abilities of the individual; but the trend is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of the community.
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Q: What are some basic facts about Down Syndrome?
A: The medical name for Down Syndrome is Trisomy 21. Down Syndrome occurs at conception and is not because of something the mother did during pregnancy at all. It is a random occurrence. It does not matter race, religion, socio-economic level, etc.
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Q: What causes Down Syndrome?
A: It is stated that 95% of all cases is caused by an error in cell division called nondisjunction. Few cases are caused by two other chromosomal abnormalities: mosaicism and translocation. The additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down Syndrome.
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Q: How is Down Syndrome diagnosed?
A: The diagnosis of Down syndrome is usually picked up soon after the birth of the baby because of the way it looks. There are many physical characteristics associated with the condition, which may lead a parent, or medical professional to suspect that the baby has Down syndrome. Many of these features are found in the general population. Therefore a chromosome test would need to be done on the baby before a positive diagnosis could be made. Taking blood from the baby and then analyzing the chromosomes does this. The result is called a karyotype.
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Q: Why the myth that more children are born to mothers over the age of 35 years of age?
A: Actually, 85% of children born with Down Syndrome are to mothers under the age of 35 years of age. The reason the greater risk over age of 35 is because the statistics are higher in that age group because there are not as many women having babies over the age of 35 years of age.
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Q: Are there varying levels of Down Syndrome?
A: Down Syndrome affects each child differently just like each typical child develops differently . Each child has their strengths and weaknesses in different areas.
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Q: Why is it so important to get involved in a support group?
A: Becoming involved in a support group allows you the opportunity to fellowship, get resources and get questions answered by people that are in similar situations. There is nothing better than being surrounded by people that understand what you are going through. We encourage everyone to attend a support group.
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Q: What is DSAT?
A: DSAT, Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa, is a parent support group with over 320 families on the mailing list. We provide new parent packets to new families in the hospital, monthly meetings with informative speakers, fellowship activities throughout the year including annual Christmas party, Easter Egg Hunt, and various sporting events. DSAT also has an annual Buddy Walk, which provides awareness in the community and has over 1,200 attendees. DSAT also has a calendar each year that features our DSAT children and adults that we are so very proud to show off!!
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Q: How can I become involved in DSAT?
A: We hope you get involved immediately. Please go to the contact page and e-mail us your information or call us. We will be happy to talk to you and provide any support and resources you might need. We would love to have you come to a meeting and get on our mailing list.
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Q: What does DSAT offer to new parents?
A: DSAT offers immediate support. We have a new parent packet that is very informative and answers any questions you might have in the beginning. We also give a book to all new families and a DVD that is very helpful. Please contact us so we can get you this valuable information.
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