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Down syndrome Down syndrome takes its name from Dr Langdon Down He was the first person to describe the syndrome in 1866 The earliest recorded incident of someone having Down syndrome dates back to an altar piece painted in a church in Aachen Germany in 1504 Although the syndrome is named after Dr Langdon Down he did not understand the condition as we know it today The syndrome was referred to as having mongolism This was because people who have Down syndrome have similar physical characteristics to those people of oriental heritage The diagnosis of the syndrome can be made shortly after birth Most parents who find out their child has it have conflicting emotions These can include shock feelings of disbelief feelings of sorrow guilt and feelings of embarrassment In the past most babies who had Down syndrome were put into an institution Today the trend is to keep the child at home and have the child became a functioning member of society Having a handicapped child can cause great stress There is also a problem of explaining the condition to the other siblings Down syndrome should not be explained to the other siblings as an illness They should be told the child has a handicap Parents should also be careful not to spend all their time with the child that has Down syndrome and spend equal time with all their children Other relatives and friends should be told as soon as possible It will normally make other people uncomfortable They may not understand what the parent is feeling and say inappropriate things Down syndrome is one of the most common chromomal defects It occurs in about 1 out of 800 births The probability of having a child with Down syndrome increases with the mothers age The rate for women in their twenties is about 1 in 2000 births This number increases dramatically for a women in her forties to about
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