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The three forms of Down syndrome are called simple trisomy,
translocation and mosaicism.

Simple Trisomy
About 95 percent of all people with Down syndrome have this particular form.
Parents will have normal chromosomes, but their baby has three number 21parentlink3
chromosomes, rather than the usual pair. This is an accidental occurrence that
happens in the division of the cell. Although the birth of a child with Down syndrome
is slightly more common among older parents, it can occur at any age.

As the name suggests, this means movement to another location, where a segment
of number 21 chromosome actually breaks off and attaches to another chromosome.
This is observed in about 4 percent of babies with Down syndrome and can take
several forms. In all cases, the baby has a normal number of chromosomes, but has
extra chromosomal material i.e. as well as the usual two number 21 chromosomes, the
baby has an extra portion of number 21 chromosome attached to a normal
chromosome. In about one third of these children either parent may carry a
translocation but show no signs or symptoms. The mother’s age is not an important
factor in this type of Down syndrome.

In one percent of people with Down syndrome, body cells have a mosaic pattern.
This means that there is an extra whole number 21 chromosome in only some of the
body cells, the rest of the cells are normal/or have 46 chromosomes. As a result of this
mixture, babies with a mosaic cell pattern may have less prominent physical features
of the syndrome.

While statistics vary in other countries, in Ireland it is
estimated that about one baby in every 600 born has Down
syndrome. As yet, it is not known what causes Down syndrome.

Speech and Language Tips

It can be fun to reflect back on enjoyable times during the summer break. Use photographs of a day out, holiday or family event to recall these times and encourage commenting. These could be brought in to school or work to share as news.

Chairperson Message of The Month

Hello, my name is Paudie Murray and I am husband to Aoife and father to Rachael, Ciara and Hannah. Hannah who has Down syndrome is approaching her fourth birthday and is currently attending pre-school. Hannah is a unique individual with her own personality, family background and preferences that make her who she is. She is our child, our daughter, our sister but ultimately she is herself. Previous to Hannah’s birth we had little knowledge of the difficulties for people with Down Syndrome and their families. However, neither did we realise how rewarding it would be to parent a child with Down Syndrome. Hannah brings more joy and happiness to our family than anyone could ever imagine and we have learned so much already from her.

At Down Syndrome Limerick we are dedicated to being a primary source of information and support to people with Down syndrome and their families working towards an improved quality of life for our members and a respect for and acceptance of people with Down syndrome as valued members of our society. We place the person with Down syndrome at the centre of our organization and we value the uniqueness and diverse needs of our members and their families which govern all our activities.

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