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​​Types of Down Syndrome 

There are different types of Down Syndrome. The most common one is Trisomy 21, 95% of people with Down syndrome have this. This is caused by a failure of the sperm separating properly. This is a result of having three 21st chromosomes instead of having two.  This is caused by a random error and not inherited by the parents.

Translocation is another type which only affects 3% to 4% of people with Down Syndrome. This is caused when there are three 21st chromosomes and the third one attaches to another chromosome. The extra chromosome doesn’t always attach to the 21st chromosome but, it can also attach to another chromosome for example 14,13 or 22 which causes the characteristics of Down Syndrome. This type of Down Syndrome may or may not be inherited by one of the parents. If their father is carrying the Translocation gene there is only a 3% chance the child will develop Down Syndrome. If the mother is the carrier of the gene there is 10 to 15% chance the child will develop Down Syndrome. (Mayo Clinic, 2014) This gene runs in the family and is able to skip up to 5 generations before showing up again.

The third type of Down Syndrome is very rare, only 1 to 2% of all cases of people with Down Syndrome have Mosaic Down syndrome. This happens when some cells have 26 chromosomes and others have 27. People with Mosaic Down Syndrome can have an IQ score that is 10-30 points higher than somebody with trisomy 21 Down Syndrome. People with Mosaic Down Syndrome may not develop the facial features as the other types of Down Syndrome. Each type of Down Syndrome, there is a 21st chromosome in all or some of the cells (Brown, I. & Percy, M., 2011. Developmental Disabilities: in Ontario, 3rd Edition).


Children with Down Syndrome need to be taught with visual supports such as pictures and signs. Some of the ways that people with Down Syndrome can learn visually is by using pictures in schedules, having colours on important words, videos, and drama. They struggle processing verbal information and information in the short-term memory. This makes it difficult for them to learn new words and sentences.

For a child with Down Syndrome it will take them up to 3 weeks, 3 times a day to master a skill. This is caused by working the skill into their long term memory, which is very strong for people with Down Syndrome. They have many things that they are interested in and can tell you all about them. By incorporating their interest in other learning environments it will help them to memorize and learn new material. For example, if the person with Down Syndrome is interested in animals, you can teach them how to spell animal names or where the animals live. This broadens the child’s intelligence and makes them interested in what the teacher is teaching them.

Staying on a daily routine can help people with Down Syndrome understand what is going to happen next without any questions. This can cause the child to stay on task and help them focus on one thing at a time. Having one on one time with the teacher can benefit the student. Students with Down Syndrome can benefit from smaller class sizes. Most children with Down Syndrome tend to hang around with people that have disabilities. By being in a class with other children who have disabilities, it helps them feel like they fit in. They will not be as worried to get something wrong and are more comfortable in this class setting (Down Syndrome Association of Peterborough, 2015).

Down Syndrome and Depression

For most people the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a person with Down Syndrome is their happy smiles. It may be hard for society to believe that people with Down Syndrome are more likely to be diagnosed with depression the the general population.

Over the past couple years, there has been an increase of a dual diagnoses with people who have Down Syndrome. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that is diagnose for people with Down Syndrome. Women with Down Syndrome are more likely to be diagnosed then men. 

​People with Down Syndrome and Depression of all ages, commonly talk to them selves and have imaginary friends.  This allows them to express their emotions and vent about the problem or situation they’re in. This can also help them to process what has just happened. Going over the situation in their head or out loud can help them react in the correct way. This may take some time.

It may be hard for a person with Down Syndrome and Depression to tell you that they need a break or that they do not want to do something. People with Down Syndrome tend to want to make others happy which can cause them to do things that they really do not want to do (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2016)