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March 21st, 2014

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an additional copy of all or part of chromosome 21. It’s a relatively common human condition, occurring in about 1 per 1000 babies born each year and can be identified during pregnancy.

This genetic difference is present from conception, affecting people with Down syndrome during prenatal development, infancy, childhood and throughout their adult lives.

Children with down syndrome experience learning difficulties that lead to delays in most areas of development. However, not all areas of development are affected equally - there are particular patterns of learning difficulties associated with Down syndrome. These patterns can inform different ways of teaching and supporting the learning of people with Down syndrome that are more successful.

Education and proper care has been shown to improve quality of life. Children have also been known to benefit greatly from one to one care with a specialised trained Special Needs Nanny. Little Ones Nanny Agency works with gifted and compassionate qualified Special Needs Nannies who are devoted to the children they care for and teach.

Some children with Down syndrome are educated in typical school classes while others require more specialized education. Some individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school and a few attend post-secondary education. Most of the needs of people with Down syndrome are the same as for everyone else. There are, however, some additional, identifiable needs. The syndrome is also associated with increased risks of some health problems, including heart defects, hearing loss, weakened immune systems, poor eyesight and a heightened risk of early-onset dementia. Many of these problems are treatable given well-resourced medical care. Life expectancy is around 50 to 60 years in the developed world with proper health care, although improved medical care is now helping people with Down syndrome to live beyond 60 years. In the UK today, it’s estimated that 12,800 young people have Down syndrome under the age of 18 years, while worldwide approximately 1.6 million children. It is occurring in about 1 per 1000 babies born each year. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British doctor who decribed the syndrome in 1886.

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