Back in the 8th grade, my class was given an assignment to write a faux letter to a couple expecting a child with a chromosome disorder. The purpose was to understand and be able to explain certain disorders in layman's terms.
By some twist of luck (as the teacher had us pick chromosome numbers from a bowl) I got chromosome 21 - aka Trisomy 21, aka Down Syndrome.
I found the assignment on my computer, and thought it was an interesting thing to post here.
To whom it may concern:
I am sorry to say that your future child will have Down syndrome. This was caused because (s)he contains an extra chromosome number 21.
This happens when a sex cell undergoes meiosis, but for some reason, instead of having one chromosome in each daughter cell, an extra chromosome appears in one cell while the other is missing a chromosome.
Some children exhibit only a few physical characteristics of Down syndrome; others exhibit many. The most common physical features associated with Down syndrome include:
• Low muscle tone
• Flat facial features, with a small nose
• Upward slant to the eyes
• Small skin folds on the inner corner of the eyes
• Small, abnormally shaped ears
• Single deep crease across the center of the palm
• Double joints
• Fifth finger has only one flexion furrow instead of two
• Extra space between the big toe and the second toe
• Enlarged tongue that tends to stick out
Also, most children with Down syndrome are prone to vulnerabilities such as:
• Depression and social withdrawal
• Obsessive compulsive behaviors
• Regression with decline in loss of social skills
• Chronic sleep difficulties, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mood related problems
In order to help your child cope with this disorder, you may enroll your child in a school for children with similar disabilities, try therapy, and have frequent check-ups with the child’s caregiver.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck and happiness with your child. Whether or not your child would have been born with Down syndrome, (s)he is still a blessing to your life and should bring you great joy and pride.