Over an 18 month period, 34,495 live births were delivered in the Kuala Lumpur Maternity Hospital. 36 neonates or 1.044 per 1000 live births had Down syndrome. This study also suggested that the Malay mothers had increased risk of producing babies with Down Syndrome at a later age than the Chinese and the Indians. Yet, it is to be concerned by Malaysians.
What is it? Down Syndrome or trisomy 21 is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21 It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ of a young adult with Down Syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8- or 9-year-old child, but this varies widely.
Down Syndrome can be identified during pregnancy by prenatal screening followed by diagnostic testing, or after birth by direct observation and genetic testing. Since the introduction of screening, pregnancies with the diagnosis are often terminated. Regular screening for health problems is common in Down Syndrome is recommended throughout the person’s life.
Education and proper care have been shown to improve the quality of life. 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.
To care after your children with Down Syndrome, there is Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation committed to the welfare of children with Down Syndrome, its main focus being the education of these children up to 6 years old.
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