More research needed for Down syndrome

Published 12:20 pm Saturday, May 1, 2010

I’m writing about a topic I feel strongly about. I’m sure most people have heard about Down syndrome, but not all of them know what it is. I know a little girl from my church who has Down syndrome. She is extremely smart and always has a smile on her face. Her mother just got back from a trip to Honduras to start a program for kids with Down syndrome. It saddens me that people don’t pay a lot of attention to this serious issue. That’s what poses the problem.

Down syndrome is a disorder in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of 46. The physical defects include: a flattened nose, small mouth and ears, upward slanting eyes, and wide and short hands. Down syndrome causes its victims to have impulsive behavior, slow learning and a short attention span. One out of every 750 babies born has Down syndrome, according to scientists.

I think Minnesota could use more facilities dedicated to individually helping kids with Down syndrome. I think what’s holding us back is our lack of knowledge. The more we know about this disorder, the more we can help kids who suffer from it be the best they can be.

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To fix this issue, I would love to see nearby communities start up programs to teach one-on-one with Down syndrome children. Who knows the difference we could make in their lives if we open up this door for them!

Colleen Thompson

Albert Lea High School

English class

Clarks Grove