Priyanka Chopra, the reigning queen of Bollywood, knows the importance of every child. "Every child is special", she had recently tweeted. But what made her say so all of a sudden? It's the need to spread awareness on Down's syndrome. She was recently witnessed talking about the condition and the need to treat children with Down's syndrome with care and importance. Every child, despite Down's syndrome deserves complete access to opportunities, she had been pointed out to say.
What is Down's syndrome?
Down’s syndrome is a common genetic disorder caused in unborn developing children before birth. The condition can delay a child's normal physical and mental development. Children with the condition usually experience moderate to severe learning difficulties.
The condition was named after John Langdon Down who first identified it in 1866. Other than being a genetic disorder scientists are still unaware of the reasons of the condition. Even after years of research there is still no cure for the condition. So, it becomes even more important to understand the condition and its effects on children to help allow them the best possible lifestyle with equal opportunities.
The condition occurs in all ethnic groups equally, however, it is more common in boys as compared to girls. The age of the mother at the time of pregnancy is the biggest risk factor for this condition. The risk increases with the mother's age. A baby born to an older mother is at a higher risk than a baby born to a younger mother. The risk is greatest in women who are in their 40s.
Down' syndrome also increases the risk of developing several other conditions, including life-threatening ones. Some of the disorders which are common in a child with Down’s syndrome include:
- Congenital heart disease—Children with Down’s syndrome are at a higher risk of having congenital cardiac problems (birth defects that affect the heart).
- Sight problems (such as squints, ‘lazy eye’ (amblyopia), eye infections and cataracts )
- Hearing problems.
- Speech and language problems.
- Alzheimer’s disease – a common cause of dementia (a deterioration of mental abilities, such as memory and reasoning) in people who are over 65 years of age.
Screening can help to identify if the baby has Down’s syndrome. But screening tests are also not 100% accurate. Even if the test is negative, there are still risks that the baby may have Down’s syndrome. Screening for Down’s syndrome is recommended in all women during pregnancy, in order to identify who are at high risk. If screening tests are positive, other tests may be done to confirm if the baby has Down’s syndrome. Parents are then counselled so that they can make an informed decision about whether to terminate or proceed with the pregnancy.
So, let us give it up to Priyanka for standing up for children and bringing us back to a very important subject that every child is special.
Image Source: Newsroompost.com
Read more articles on Down's Syndrome