Does Down’s Syndrome Sufferers Show Symptoms Of Autism?


Down’s syndrome is the most common genetic disorder in the United States. It occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. Individuals with Down’s syndrome may experience delays in developing speech, motor skills, and cognitive abilities; however, they can live healthy and fulfilling lives if they receive proper care. A parent or sibling of someone with Down’s syndrome has a 1 in 50 chance of having another child with the condition; however, this risk increases to 1 in 8 if both parents are carriers for the genetic abnormality.

What is Down’s Syndrome?

Down’s Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects physical and mental development. It occurs when there is an extra chromosome in the cell, which causes problems with brain development. The main features of Down’s syndrome are short stature, flattened facial features, low muscle tone and weak muscle coordination.

What are the causes of Down’s Syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is caused by a genetic abnormality in which an individual has three copies of chromosome 21 rather than the usual two. Chromosome 21 contains more than 400 genes that are involved in development and function throughout life. Down’s syndrome occurs when there is an error during cell division (mitosis) or meiosis, where genetic material is divided equally between daughter cells to make new cells.[1] In most cases, this error happens during the creation of sperm or eggs;[2] however it can also occur after conception if a woman remains pregnant with both sets of chromosomes from her fertilised egg.[3]

A baby born with Down’s syndrome will have an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21 and this can lead to physical characteristics such as a flat face, short fingers and toes, small jaw and wide-set eyes.[4] Due to their increased risk of heart problems,[5] many people also develop bowel cancer by the time they reach their early 30s.[6]

Down’s syndrome and autism

Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes some level of mental impairment. It affects around one in 1,000 children and can be diagnosed at birth.

In the general population, the risk of autism is 1 in 88 compared to 1 in 20 for those with Down’s syndrome – but many people with Down’s syndrome are not diagnosed until they reach adulthood because it is difficult to diagnose them at an early age.

Children who have Down’s syndrome may experience some of the same symptoms as autistic children:

  • They may not be able to make eye contact with other people or respond when called by name
  • They may appear withdrawn from their surroundings and seem unaware of what others are doing or saying
  • They may have repetitive behaviours such as hand flapping or rocking back and forth

Diagnosing autism

Diagnosing autism is not easy. The symptoms of the condition may appear in early childhood, but they do not always develop until later on. It can take some time to diagnose, which can sometimes make it difficult for parents to get the support they need for their child.

It’s important that you know the signs and symptoms of autism so that if your child shows any signs of it, then you can seek help from a professional immediately. But how do you go about getting a diagnosis?

There are various types of psychologist and psychiatrists who specialise in diagnosing autism – these include paediatricians who have been trained in developmental disorders such as Down’s syndrome often make this type of decision too .

Treatment of autism in those with Down’s syndrome

The treatment of autism in those with Down’s syndrome is the same as for other children. To help with social skills and communication, special education programs can be beneficial. Therapy can help to manage behavior problems and medication can be used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Children with Down’s syndrome are more likely to have autism than the rest of the population, but an accurate diagnosis can be difficult.

Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome. It affects around one in 1,000 babies born in the UK, but it can occur at any age.

It’s a lifelong condition that varies from person to person. Some will have learning disabilities and/or health problems, while others may be able to live independently with support. The majority of people with Down’s syndrome are happy, healthy and enjoy life alongside those without the condition.

Down’s syndrome isn’t contagious or infectious – you can’t catch it from someone else who has it or give it to someone else by touching them or sharing something with them (like toys). It also doesn’t affect intelligence or cause mental health problems such as schizophrenia or depression.


As we have seen, Down’s syndrome and autism are two very different conditions. However, they can share some symptoms and both are diagnosed using similar methods. A child with Down’s syndrome will be screened for autism by a doctor or other professional who must first rule out other conditions before making a diagnosis. It is important to remember that no one knows whether or not your child has Down’s syndrome until the results come back from their genetic tests.

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