Top 5 Signs Your Child May Have Down Syndrome and What to Do

It's always difficult to think your child may have down syndrome. It may be even more difficult to tell. The signs aren't always visible early in life, and so it pays to pay attention as they grow. Here is a list of  the top 5 most common down syndrome signs:

1. Brushfield Spots in Down Syndrome

A notable sign of down syndrome is the presence of discolorations of the colored part of the eye known as Brushfield spots. These are pale, milky white spots dotting the colored part of an infant’s eye. These spots can be hard to notice, but gazing into an infant’s eyes can provide an important bit of evidence for Down syndrome.

2. Unusually Shaped Eyes

Many infants with down syndrome also have oddly shaped eyes in addition to discoloration in the eyes. An infant with down syndrome will commonly have eyes that slant upward, oftentimes with a fold of skin from the upper eyelid that covers one of the inner corners of the eye. This sign is more obvious than Brushfield spots but can be discerned in much the same way by looking into an infant’s eyes.

3. Decreased or Poor Muscle Tone

The muscles of an infant with down syndrome are often poorly formed. This is a more obvious sign, requiring that examiners know what an infant’s skin tone looks like. Though infants do tend to have a good bit of fat on their limbs, there are signs of a child’s musculature to be found if one is careful to look.

4. Oddly Shaped Hands

A child’s hands can also provide a clue as to whether or not they have down syndrome. Many children with down syndrome will have unusually wide yet also unusually short hands. A number of these children will also possess unusually short fingers as well.

5. Short Neck

A very clear of down syndrome can be found in the child’s neck. A child with an unusually short neck may not have down syndrome but it can be a major red flag during a child’s development. Another element of note in this sign of down syndrome is an excess of skin folded around the back of the child’s neck

Keep in mind, simply having these down syndrome signs doesn't mean your child has down syndrome. However, it is a good idea to get further testing if you see them. By doing so, you may be able to help your child live a more full and rich life.

Regardless of whether your child has down syndrome or not, here at Ascend Rehab Services we pride ourselves on being able to help children with all types of special needs, from down syndrome, to those who require speech therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, ILS (Listening therapy) and autism spectrum disorder as well.

We also offer a variety of group classes which work great for certain types of children looking to improve their social and communication skills that are ok in group settings. Learn more by watching our video below!