Who bears a child with down syndrome in the abdomen, often experiences even before birth. For several years, a blood that exists in Germany, even a test that can tell whether an unborn child has trisomy 21.

women are given this diagnosis, you have to make a momentous decision: do you Want to keep the Baby or have an abortion? In the process of very practical questions to ask often: How independently the child can be later? It will run, talk, write, learn, and work? A recent study answers that will help you with the initial orientation.

For the study researchers surveyed by Brian Skotko of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston 2658 parents of children with down syndrome the skills of their sons and daughters. A majority of the respondents (2044) lived in the United States, a small part of the responses came from parents from the Netherlands (669 responses).

according to The results, most children can run with down’s syndrome after 25 months, with twelve years of reasonably talking, with 13 your body care take care of, and with 20 years of work, the researchers report in the “American Journal of Medical Genetics”.

Increasing age, greater learning difficulties

Still, it could give the abilities of children are very great differences, the researchers say. Some of the children remained, even with the best therapy and support are very dependent. The reason is the genes. “Parents should be protected in such situations, about to take the blame.”

That the children are not able to meet the expectations of the parents, especially in a point of the survey is clear: With increasing age of the children, mothers and fathers reported increasingly from learning difficulties of their children – although these developed steadily. The reason for this is likely that with age the differences between children with and without down’s syndrome would always clear, the researchers write.

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Particularly affected by the phenomenon of educated parents. They reported more frequently that their children had learning difficulties, although these have developed relatively well. This could be due to the fact that the mothers and fathers had higher expectations for their children, speculate the researchers.

What the majority of the children were able to when? The results in Detail:

Run: most children with down syndrome could run for a short time after their second birthday. In the case of the children aged four and older, the proportion rose to 98 per cent. Talk: A majority of the children managed to talk until the age of twelve years to understand. The results are consistent with those of previous studies. read: at The age of 21 to 30 were able to decipher in the US group, just under 50 percent of the words in the low countries, it was the parents, according to 63 percent. Write: With 21 to 30 were able to write according to parents, approximately 37 percent of the participants from the USA reasonably well, in the Netherlands it was 52 percent. food: Almost all the parents reported that their children were able to eat as adults pretty well self-employed (97 percent in the U.S. and 96 percent in the Netherlands). However, in the 31 years of age, only about 45 percent of the participants of the U.S. group own meals, in the Netherlands, some 30 per cent. body care: most of The children washed at the age of 13. Up to the age of 30, some 70 percent of self took care of their body care. work: at The age of 31 years, had 71 percent of the participants in the United States and 65 percent in the Netherlands, a Job. were able to Independently travel, travel, and life: at The age of 31 years, about 30 percent of people with down syndrome in the United States and 17 percent in the Netherlands independently with public transport. In addition, approximately 34 percent of the group in the United States, and 30 percent lived in the age of the group in the Netherlands independently.

What was not part of the study: In previous studies, people with down’s syndrome were interviewed about you. The overwhelming majority stated that they were happy with themselves and their appearance. Also, the researchers note in their recent analysis.

weaknesses in the study

The current survey has a few weaknesses. Most of the participants were recruited through Non-Profit down syndrome organizations, since there are neither in the USA nor in the Netherlands, a comprehensive registry for people with down syndrome. This limited the number of participants.

in addition, the parents interviewed were formed in comparison with the population average. Basically, however, the study represents the opinion of more than 2600 parents and is one of the largest of this kind.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.