What is Down syndrome? Some people who have problems with development have Down Syndrome. Dr John Langdon Down is the first person to have identified this syndrome in As a doctor he worked in a hospital where there were many patients who were slow with their development. John Langdon Haydon Down ( )
What does it look like? Dr Down noticed that most, but not all, people with Down syndrome looked alike, with: a wide space between their eyes a small, flat nose slanting eyes short fingers, hands, toes and feet short arms and legs.
People with Down syndrome have some of these problems: an intellectual disability, which means that it takes longer for them to learn and understand problems with learning to talk problems with vision more likely to get ear infections 'stuffed up' noses - they seem to have a bad cold for a lot of the time heart problems poor coordination skills.
How do you get it? You cannot catch Down syndrome. You are either born with it or you are not. Everyone has DNA. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes. Half come from the mum and half from the dad. Each pair is numbered, from 1 to 23. In Down syndrome there is an extra chromosome, with (usually) number 21 having 3 chromosomes instead of 2. Because of it children are born with Down syndrome, there is no cure.
Down syndrome at school Many kids with Down syndrome can go to regular school, so long as they need some extra help in the classroom. Others may go to a special school where they can learn to live independent lives when they are old enough to live away from home. A kid with Down syndrome may look a bit different, but can still share chores, go to school, play sport and have friends just like anyone else.
How you can help a class mate If someone in your class at school has Down syndrome then you can help by: being friendly helping when they need help. But, don't take over! It's good to be able to do things for yourself. including them in your group or games, if they want to join in. sticking up for them if others are bullying or being unkind. helping them to learn the rules, eg. "It's my turn next then it will be yours again." Or "You have to put your hand up if you want to speak in a class lesson." encouraging them to try, and praising when they do well. understanding that they may be a bit 'over the top' at times when they are happy or excited. It's ok to say things like, "Whoa there, don't knock me over" or "Talk quietly please." being clear that 'bad behaviour', eg. shouting, hitting, throwing things or taking things without permission is not ok from anyone especially a friend.