Friday, October 4, 2013

31 for 21 challenge. Day Four. There is a Look.

I laugh sometimes when I tell someone (a stranger) "Josiah has Down syndrome," and they respond "I know." I forget that there's 'a look', certain characteristics, that can be easily identified. 

Some of the common ones include: 
  • Poor muscle tone;
  • Slanting eyes with folds of skin at the inner corners (called epicanthal folds);
  • Hyperflexibility (excessive ability to extend the joints);
  • Short, broad hands with a single crease across the palm on one or both hands;
  • Broad feet with short toes;
  • Flat bridge of the nose;
  • Short, low-set ears; and
  • Short neck and small head;
  • Small oral cavity; and/or
  • Short, high-pitched cries in infancy.
No child or adult has all of the characteristics.  You might be hard pressed to find two with the exact same characteristics.  There are over 50 common characteristics of Down syndrome.

Josiah definitely has the low muscle tone and folds of skin at the inner corners of the eyes.  He is most definitely hyperflexible.  He does not have the single crease across the palm of his hands, nor does he have a small head. 

Long before I had Josiah, I could spot a child with Down syndrome a mile away. They are so gosh darn cute. There IS a look though. Of course, Josiah is mine. Of course I know he has Down syndrome. But first and foremost, he's my son. I don't see Down syndrome. I simply see my beautiful little boy.

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