My Journal - Week 24 (05Feb10)

Down syndrome characteristics?

I thought a lot about the typical characteristics that Ds brings about.  And in thinking about this, I thought about Hunter's characteristics.  I don't think that Hunter looks like anyone but himself and obviously his family.  I say this because people tend to think that children and adults with Ds look alike.  And while they share certain similar features they do not all look alike, everyone is entitled to look unique.  An unfortunate misnomer.

Knowing that, I wanted to make a list of the things I think make Hunter unique.
  • Upward slanting eyes:  This one is tough.  Hunter is 1/4 Chinese, so the slant is deceiving.  Is it the Ds or is it the Asian genes?  He also has a minor epicanthal fold in the inner corners.  I have slanting eyes but don't have the fold though.
  • Small floppy ears:  This too is tough... he definitely has these ears.  I have very small floppy ears also so, could he possibly have inherited my ears?
  • Small nose:  I feel like I am repeating myself.  Hunter has a small nose and yes, I too have a small nose.  But so did John when he was a baby.
  • Small head:  Perhaps at birth, but he only weighed 5 lbs 14 ozs!  No one thinks his head is small now!
  • Clinodactyly (Crooked baby fingers):  Hunter does have this.  I never even thought anything about my own until I was researching Ds.  Yes, both of my pinkies are crooked.  I am told by the geneticist that this is also found frequently in people of Asian decent.
  • Simian Crease (Palmer crease):  He has one on his left palm only and it is not singular.  Nope, I don't have this cool feature (and as a side note 13% of Asians have this, and it is a sign of being intellectually gifted).  I have discovered that intellectually known people such as Hillary Clinton and Albert Einstein have one.
  • Sandal toes:  Nope, he doesn't have this one and neither do I.
  • Brushfield Spots/Marks:  Wow, until looking in Hunter's eyes, I wouldn't have known about this phenomenon.  His eyes are so beautiful I did a post about them back on 20 December 2009.  I am not lucky enough to have this wonderful feature.
  • Protruding tongue: No more than any other baby.  In this case, Hunter is lucky.  Some babies with Ds, have small mouths and it can be awkward for them, making it look like their tongue is too big when this is not really the case. 
  • Short stature:  Time will tell, but right now, Hunter has one very long midsection.  His arms are shorter than what I would say is average, and his legs seem to be of a normal length.  I myself, am on the shorter side.  Being only 5' 3.5" you can definitely call me short!
For others, there are more and sometimes less typical features but these are the ones that I have noticed in Hunter (and that I can think of right now).  Some of you may be scratching your heads wondering why I have some of the same features.  Honestly, I don't even know myself.  Both Daddy and I were tested and neither of us carries the gene for Ds.  Personally I think that I happen to have some of these features because of my 1/2 Asian heritage.  All I can say is that I wish I had the palmer crease (I could then call myself intellectual) and the amazing Brushfield spots.


  1. Firstly, congratulations on the recent birth of your beautiful child :)

    Secondly, just to let you know I've added you to the Squidoo Lens - as requested

    Finally, if you haven't done so already, do take the time to explore some of the other sites of parents of children with DS - there really is a very supportive community on the web.

    And finally, finally, one site I can't recommend highly enough is Conny Wenk who has a daughter with DS but is also a superb photographer who has taken photos of loads of children with DS and their families - well worth a visit :)


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