Down Syndrome

Learn about Down syndrome and AAC

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What is Down syndrome?

Genetic information is stored in chromosomes, and human beings has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Down syndrome (also known as trisomy 21) is a condition that results from an extra chromosome or a partial copy on the 21st pair of chromosomes. It is the most common chromosomal condition, with 1 in roughly 800 people born with the condition. Older women have a greater likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome (for example, if the matrnal age is 40, there is a 1/100 chance the baby could have Down syndrome).

Not all people with Down syndrome display the same traits, but there are common physical characteristics:

  • Upward-slanting eyes
  • Lower than average muscle tone
  • Small stature
  • Loose joints
  • Deep crease across the palm of the hand

Types of Down syndrome:

Trisomy 21






How is it diagnosed

What causes it

How can AAC help with Down syndrome?

It is not uncommon for people with Down syndrome to also have co-occuring mental and physical conditions. What many may interpret as an intellectual disability may instead be due to physical impairment, for example with speech development.

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