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Simple Answers to Kids' Questions about Down Syndrome

Q. What is Down syndrome?dscn4072

A. Down syndrome is something that causes differences in the way a person looks and learns. No two people with Down syndrome are quite the same, but they are often extra flexible in their joints, have eyes that slant, have small ears and a small nose, and grow more slowly than other kids, People with Down syndrome also tend to learn more slowly than others.

Q. Why do some people have Down syndrome?

A. People with Down syndrome are born with one extra chromosome in some or all of their cells. Chromosomes contain the directions that tell your body how to grow. These directions tell your body what color your eyes and hair will be, how big your nose will be, whether you will be a good singer, and many other things. When a person has an extra chromosome, it mixes up their body’s directions a little. That is why people with Down syndrome look a little different and have to try harder to learn. Nobody knows why some babies are born with Down syndrome, but we do know that it is nobody’s fault.

Q. Why is it called Down syndrome?

A. A doctor named John Langdon Down was the first to write about this condition. It’s not called that because we should be