8 of the Most Googled Questions About Down Syndrome, and My Answers
I’m not Wikipedia — I’m just a mom. So when my son was diagnosed with Down syndrome, I needed information. This is my take on the resources I never found, but always wanted in the early days — a compilation of eight of the most frequently Googled questions about Down syndrome. I’ve added accurate, up-to-date resources for each and answered the questions to the best of my knowledge. Please don’t mistake me for a pediatrician or a genetics expert. You’re not going to get overly formal answers to these Google searches — just a list of resources that helped me and may help you.
1. “baby Down syndrome”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess the person who Googled this may have a new baby with Down syndrome. Well, here’s what you need to know! Love your baby, cuddle him/her and get reading. There’s a whole community out there waiting for you to find them. Start at Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network to be linked to a Facebook birth group, read stories from other parents and much more.
2. “Down syndrome tiger”
Sorry folks, tigers can’t have Down syndrome. Neither can monkeys, bears, or anything other than a person. Check out a Reddit thread here to learn more.
3. “Down syndrome test”
Yes, you can test prenatally for Down syndrome. There’s a whole realm of discussion out there on this — everything from eugenics to pro-life vs. pro-choice. You can find information on actual prenatal tests here and here.
4. “Down syndrome children”
I Googled this a lot when my son was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome. I must have gone 60 pages deep into Google. So if you’ve just had a child diagnosed and you Googled this term, here’s the picture I was looking for the whole time. It’s my beautiful, sometimes naughty, always cheeky son. (You’ll take one yourself, in about three years.) You can see many more pictures here.
5. “Down syndrome symptoms”
I can’t list them all, so I’ll link you to somewhere that does. But before I do — know that your child won’t have all these symptoms. Odds are, they’ll only ever have a handful. So don’t count your chromosomes before they hatch. Just take it one day at a time. Now, click here (or here, best guide ever in the New York Times) for some lists. Don’t mind the often-confusing medical terminology. Your child’s “epicanthal folds” just mean they have a different eye shape, not an eye disease. If you’re not sure what the symptom you’re reading about means, ask in a Facebook group like this one.
6. “Down syndrome people”
Oh, those Down syndrome people are happy, aren’t they? Kidding. They’re regular people, and they’d probably prefer to be called “people with Down syndrome,” or better yet, ask the person you’re talking to how they’d like to be addressed. Here’s a list of some awesome people with Down syndrome I’ve written or read about over the last few years to get you started.
- Madeline (internationally acclaimed Australian model)
- Kayla (Columbian orphan-turned-daughter-and-superstar to her mom and dad)
- Jillian (loving wife and daughter)
- Kate (loving wife and daughter)
- Thompson kids — three, all with Down syndrome!
- Josie (artist)
- Tim (restauranteur)
- Noah (cute kid with a dad who loves taking pictures!)
7. “Down syndrome pregnancy”
If you’re Googling this, you’ve probably had a prenatal diagnosis. Head over here for loads of up-to-date, fresh information. If you want help wording your birth announcement, head here, and read the comments too. If you felt that your doctors were insensitive when telling you about your child’s diagnosis, you can send them a Christmas picture of your beautiful child every year for the rest of their life.
8. “Down syndrome causes”
I’ll link you to official information, but I’ll break it to you gently first. Your baby had Down syndrome from the instant they were conceived. It wasn’t you wearing high heels, eating McDonald’s, forgetting prenatal vitamins, not getting enough exercise, wearing tight undies, drinking coffee or eating sushi during pregnancy. Your child is who they were meant to be all along. It happened due to meiosis and a chromosome split. That is all. It’s random in 99 percent of cases. The other 1 percent is genetic due to translocation. Now you can go read about it here.
These are some of the most Googled questions on Down syndrome. If you enjoyed this resource, please share it!
A version of this story first appeared on Katrina’s blog, Parker Myles.
The Mighty is asking the following: Write the article you wish you’d found the first time you Googled your or a loved one’s diagnosis. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.