When a child is born with down syndrome the mother might not notice. As a mother your only focus is on how sweet your baby is and might not actually notice that your child’s appearance is different. Although your pediatrician immediately knows that something is different.
A syndrome has characteristics that are consistently found together. Frequently this is associated with a change in genetics. Down syndrome was “discovered” by finding consistent features and physical characteristics that were consistently together along with a mental disability.
Below are a list of characteristics of down as inspired by noahsdad syndrome, although the presence of one alone does not indicate down syndrome.
1. Up turned palpebral fissures
Instead of the outer corner of the eye to be down, it will be turned up. This is often referred to as almond shaped eyes just like that of an Asian. This is the most predominant feature of Down syndrome as your child grows up. Look at your own eyes in the mirror to see how the fissure typically points down.
Another thing you’ll notice about their eyes is the presence of brushfield spots, the white flecks close to the periphery of the iris (the colored part) of the eye. One of the obvious characteristics of down syndrome is palpebral fissures.
2. Flat Profile
When you look at a down syndrome baby from the side there will not be much curve from the nose, cheeks or mouth. And when you look at the baby from the front the cheeks seem to hang on the face. This is due to the poor tone in the muscles of the face and is actually a characteristic of hypotonia rather than a true Down syndrome marker. Often times, they frequently leave their mouth hanging open and stick out their tongue.
3. Protruding Tongue
Babies born with down syndrome stick out their tongue and their parents may find it hard to understand why this is so. The child is frequently sticking out his/her tongue either because of a small mouth, large tongue, or simply poor tone. You will have to frequently take your child to a speech therapist to they can help your child keep in their inside their mouth and also work on their speech development.
4. Single Palmar Crease
Although people believe that single palmar crease or simian crease is a characteristic common to all children with down syndrome but this is not true. Only 45% of children have a simian crease, but if your child doesn’t have the simian crease that doesn’t mean your child doesn’t have down syndrome. Those who don’t have the crease don’t as a result of hypotonia, that is the hand was not held in a tight fist while he/she was growing in the womb.
Several of the features above are from hypotonia and not actually an unmistakable physical marker of Down syndrome. Hypotonia will be the biggest challenge during the first few years and will be the reason for your frequent therapy sessions. You have to feel hypotonia; it is hard to diagnosis from pictures.
Your baby will feel floppy or limp. When you hold him or her, it feels like they are going to slip through your hands or arms. If you lay them across your hand, they will look like a wet noodle rather than being able to hold their form.
This will affect every muscle from face to ankles. Tummy time is your new best friend and child’s worst enemy as it will help your baby build head control and be the first building block for their development. The good thing about hypotonia is that your child will cuddle you a lot, like melt into your body.