why do people who have down syndrome look the same
Well it is wrong to say that people with Down syndrome look alike, but they do have a similar aesthetics. Down syndrome is what happens when the baby is born with 3 copies of chromosomes 21, instead of 2. Having 3 copies of the chromosomes 21 lead to the change in the body, including the unique facial shape and the developmental delay. This is a mutation that is most common that isnвt fatal, also known as Down syndrome. Everyone who has them has a severe mutation to their genetic code. So they have distinctive facial structures and malformation on the ears, hands, and feet, none of which looks the same. It is our human tendency to see a pattern in things that doesnвt have one.
While people with Down syndrome often share common features, almond-shaped eyes, flat face and round faces, they still look closer to their family than others with Down syndrome. Itвs just our brain not used to seeing something that isnвt what it used to and then categorizes them in the same light. Itвs the same reason why Caucasians might think that all Chinese looks the same, while the Chinese could easily point out which one of them is actually a Korean. There is totally nothing wrong with it, but the more you hang out with the group of people that you assume to look similar, the more you can differentiate them. This is the case for twins too.
Their family members could easily tell which one of them is the older one while strangers couldnвt differentiate them at all. Since we donвt tend to hang out with people with this disability, we end up grouping the distinctive people with Down syndrome as one, just like how one looks at another race.
Every once in a while I see a photo of Ellie and it is like looking at a younger version of my niece Haleigh. Or pictures of Andrew when he was just a wee little lad. Or my mother. Actually, I see my mother in Ellie a lot. It feels sort of strange looking at the baby version of your parent. Then there is one photo of Ellie where my father gasped and said "that looks like my sister Kris! ".
Of course there are moments where Ellie looks like me--the wide-eyed look she gets or the big open-mouthed grin. Yes, Ellie looks like her family. True, she has some facial characteristics consistent with Ds and she does have that fabulous, what I like to call "monkey toe",. A common belief among the general population is that all people with Down syndrome look alike. That is a misconception. Yes, those with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome have similar characteristics, BUT they look like their family members. It is the combination of these physiological traits that may cause a parent or health care provider to consider Ds.
For Ellie, it was her slanted eyes and sandal gap toes ( ). That and her low muscle tone and heart murmur among other things. [I remember all of us anxiously awaiting her karotype results to see if she did indeed have three 21s. "Ooh, I see the Ds in her eyes. Nope, I don't see it and therefore she cannot possibly have Ds. " and on and on it went. ] traits. All children inherit their "looks" from their biological family--mom, dad, grandparents, etc. My daughter's eyes are clearly from my side of the family but she has "The Theurer cheeks". You know, those big, huge, chunky cheeks that take up half of their faces as infants? Yep, Ellie had them as did most of her cousins.
Where do you think her nickname "Chunky Chicken" came from? Ellie has also been blessed with my hubby's gorgeous Pantene-commercial locks as opposed to my crazy, unruly curls. Oh and the round Croatian head. A nice round head perfect for hats, bows and pigtails. This brings me back to the best advice one can ever hear when told that their child might or has Down syndrome: he or she is a baby/child first. Love her. Care for her. The Ds is just something she has. It isn't who she is. Designer genes or chromosomely enhanced. Baby first. National Institute of Child Health and Development. Viewed April 26, 2011 at Down Syndrome Pregnancy View April 26, 2011 at
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