Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor
Summer Fields, pre-nursing major, presented the first lecture for the Engineering and Sciences lecture series. Once a month, the Engineering and Science division will have a student whose course works shows significant meaning and which also provides awareness for their given topic, give a lecture on their work.
Fields topic of choice involved researching the genetic condition known as Down Syndrome. According to the national down syndrome society (ndss), one in every 691 babies, is born with this genetic condition. The most common condition of Down Syndrome according to the ndss is Trisomy 21, because in the 21st chromosome there is an extra chromosome (ordinarily there are two, and in Trisomy 21 there are 3).
“These children can grow up to be healthy and active; it is important to keep a child active, to develop specific behavior development, and it is essential for parents to seek support programs that offer help in dealing with children who suffer from genetic conditions like Down Syndrome,” Fields said.
Fields says that 5 – 6% of children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome are also diagnosed with autism. According to down syndrome education online (dseo), there are no ways to medically check for autism at present, so any determination of actual numbers is hard to determine.
According to the dseo, doctors depend on visual and behavioral patterns that children display to make a diagnosis, and when there is already a pre-existing disability it is hard to make any association with another condition.
“Some authors argue that the diagnosis is missed because children with Down syndrome are thought to be sociable and, if this is true, some children and their families could be missing out on treatment and services they might benefit from.” – Sue Buckley, down syndrome education online, Autism and Down Syndrome
The lecture provided great information on what Trisomy 21 is, how it affects a child or adult’s life, and the ways in which to screen for Down Syndrome, which is to get regular check ups and ultrasounds. If there is a chance the growing infant has Down Syndrome there are blood test that can be done before both to check their chromosome count prior to birth.
“Physical features that are disproportionate, is an early detection of Down Syndrome. Another early detection method is to check chromosome counts,” Fields said.
The lecture provided a healthy environment in which the student(s) can show off their hard-work and give other students, faculty, or staff a lecture on something they may have not encountered or thought about before.
“This is a good chance for students to show the college what they have done, and it helps encourage students do the best they can.” Dr. Adjoa Ahedor, life science professor, said.