top of page

Home / Resources / What is Down Syndrome?

Applying Makeup

What is Down Syndrome?


Congenital Down syndrome is brought on by an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Individuals' functional levels can vary substantially based on their past medical histories and environmental circumstances.


Down Syndrome was officially named by Dr. John Langdon Down in 1866. The original term used for this condition was “Mongolism" and it wasn't until the 1970s that "Down Syndrome" became commonplace. 

Prior to the formation of NADS (National Association of Down Syndrome), physicians and nurses encouraged parents of children diagnosed with Down syndrome to have them institutionalized stating that normal families would not have the ability or resources to raise a child with Down Syndrome. In 1960 when the NADS was founded, this standard of care was completely changed and parent resources became the new social norm. In today's time, we see a plethora of support for both people who have down syndrome and their families. 

Symptoms and diagnosis

There can be a plethora of both physical and mental symptoms of Down Syndrome but here is a condensed list.

  • Flattened face

  • Small head

  • Short neck

  • Protruding tongue

  • Upward slanting eye lids (palpebral fissures)

  • Unusually shaped or small ears

  • Poor muscle tone

  • Broad, short hands with a single crease in the palm

  • Relatively short fingers and small hands and feet

  • Excessive flexibility

  • Tiny white spots on the colored part (iris) of the eye called Brushfield's spots

  • Short height

bottom of page