We discuss a lot of things here that some may not quite understand. We will try to explain them here for clarity.
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
There is a no “cure” for ADHD, but behavioral therapies and/or medications can help. We do not know what causes ADHD but it is believed to have a genetic influence. 3 out of 4 children diagnosed have a relative with it as well.
There are three types of ADHD: Inattentive Type, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, and Combined Type.
Inattentive Type is characterized by one’s inability to stay focused on a task, frequently makes mistakes or miss details, lack of follow through on instructions or tasks, easily and constantly forgetful, problems with organization, spaces out when being talked to, and is easily distracted.
Hyperactive/Impulsive Type is as it sounds. It is characterized by one’s ability to stay still, need to fidget, talkative or chatty, difficulties waiting their turn whether in line or conversation, unable to do activities quietly, and constantly moving.
Combined Type is a combination of Inattentive Type and Hyperactive Type. This is the most common type of diagnosed ADHD.
Physicians, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists are able to diagnose ADHD based on a series of assessments and behavior. Psychiatrists and Physicians are able to prescribe medication if needed. Psychiatrists and Psychologists are able to offer counseling and behavior treatments. If you think your child has ADHD and don’t know where to start, talk to your pediatrician.
Down syndrome – Also known as Trisomy 21.
This occurs when one parent’s DNA sends over two copies of the 21st chromosome instead of just one, resulting in the child having three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of two. It happens at conception and there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.
There are three types of Down Sydrome: Nondisjunction, Mosaic, and Translocation
Nondisjuction is the most common type, and is what is referred to when discussing Trisomy 21. It is when each cell has a full 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome. This accounts for 95% of cases of Down syndrome.
Mosaic is the rarest type of Down syndrome, accounting for only 1% of cases. It is when only some of the cells have a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome, but not all of them. Some of the cells only have 2 copies of the 21st chromosome.
Translocation accounts for roughly 4% of cases of Down syndrome. The total number of chromosomes in the DNA strand are still only 46, however a full or partial copy of the 21st chromosome attaches to another chromosome. This is the only type of Down syndrome that has a hereditary component as well.
Down Syndrome is able to be diagnosed with a blood or DNA test. It can be diagnosed prenatally if markers are found and the mother decided to have an amniocentesis test done. However, 50% of children with Down Syndrome are not diagnosed until after birth. There are several physical characteristics that can cause suspicion of Down Syndrome, but a blood test needs to be done to receive a diagnosis.
IEP – Individual Education Plan. This is a document that is created for a student in the public school system who needs extra help or special accommodations that allow them to reach the education goals they might not be able to otherwise achieve. It is tailored to the specific needs of the student, so no two IEPs will necessarily be the same. It is a collaborative effort between parents, teachers, staff, and student.