People with Down Syndrome are surprisingly similar in appearance. This is a short neck, a thick tongue, a saddle nose, an irregular bite, and a mongoloid eye incision. Most have small heads, their faces are flat. Muscle tone is weak. Hands and feet will also be small.
Many sincerely wonder where such a similarity comes from. After all, people with Down syndrome can be born in any family. Nationality or even race does not matter.
In fact, the similarity arises due to the pathology, which in all patients, as you might guess, is common. This congenital malformation is associated with a genetic abnormality. All people have 23 pairs of chromosomes. In people with Down syndrome, one chromosome is superfluous. 21 is split. As a result, changes affect not only mental development, but also external.
Hair color, eye, growth, skeleton structure and much more – all this is in the genes. Therefore, any deviation can affect the appearance. Especially as strong as the appearance of an extra chromosome.
Intrauterine growth retardation
Excess chromosome leads to the fact that the fetus begins to develop more slowly. As a result, he may appear certain signs, which subsequently affect the appearance. However, the stereotypical representation is far from always true. Much depends on the severity of the disease, on whether the fetus has developed.
There are many people with Down syndrome who have no complete list of symptoms. And for many they can be, but in a weak form. For example, most are used to a flat face. At the same time, dental abnormalities are far from being so common. And they are not always limited to just the wrong bite.
Down syndrome affects the structure of the skeleton in different ways. A short neck is an optional feature. And cranial deformity may be weak. That is, in an adult, such a pathology is often hidden by a hairstyle or headgear.
Similarly for a short nose or joint hypermobility. It is worth considering that all these signs can manifest themselves differently in children and in adults. If you deal with the child, then the manifestations of the disease will be visible to others with time more and more weakly.
Some experts believe that not only the disease itself is responsible for a certain similarity, but also a certain lag in intellectual development. As a result, such patients are limited in terms of brightness and the total number of those emotions that they can convey. As a result, the facial expression in many with Down syndrome is similar.
However, this is the similarity that is removed with time with the right approach. Here it all depends on whether you are engaged with such a child or not. People with Down Syndrome, unlike common stereotypes, have intellectual development. It just goes much slower.
In fact, the similarities are not so big
Doctors note that the similarity is not always observed. If Down syndrome is mild, only 1 or 2 symptoms may be present. And in the end, the difference between the children involuntarily begins to catch the eye.
Experts also indicate that a lot depends on the perception of people. Most primarily pay attention to the manifestation of the disease. The result is an impression of similarity. However, this is a matter of our perception with you.
That is, a lot also depends on our expectations. When we are told that we will see a person with Down syndrome, we unwittingly draw a certain image in our heads. And then our consciousness “drives” the appearance of a real person under this imaginary picture.
This is a fairly common simplification that allows us to think in stereotypes, use blocks of information, rather than units. Such distortion speeds up information processing, but degrades the quality of perception. Awareness helps to combat this phenomenon and control your own perception. However, efforts must be made for this.
Similarities decrease with age.
Please note: the most similarities are in infants with Down syndrome. But the older people get, the more differences appear. The appearance of the person himself is manifested, which has not disappeared anywhere. Also begins to emerge individuality, own facial expressions, some habits.
Important: a certain similarity is observed not only in people with Down syndrome. There is Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Silver-Russell syndrome and many others. All of them noticeably affect the appearance. It’s just that Down syndrome is more common in people than others, which made such patients recognizable. However, if you look closely at them, you can see the individuality of each.