Down Syndrome Symptoms

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Down syndrome or Down's syndrome, is a congenital condition that typically gives rise to characteristic facial and physical features. Individuals with this condition may also suffer from a range of associated health problems, although the severity of these problems varies between individuals.

Some of the signs and symptoms of Down syndrome include:

Physical symptoms

  • Upward slanting eyes with oblique fissures
  • Abnormally small chin (microgenia)
  • Flat nasal bridge and small nose
  • Small mouth
  • Enlarged tongue (macroglossia)
  • Broad head and a round face
  • Single fold across the palm (called the palmar crease )
  • Increased space between the first and second toe (called the sandal gap)
  • Broad hand with short fingers.
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Joint laxity
  • Growth parameters including height, weight, and head circumference are smaller in children with Down syndrome.

Other symptoms

  • Intellectual disability in most children with Down syndrome is mild (IQ 50 to 70) to moderate (IQ 35 to 50).
  • Language skills and speech may be slow to develop. Reading and understanding are also delayed.
  • Development of the fine motor skills may be delayed, as well as gross motor skills causing problems with sitting, standing, climbing and jumping, for example.
  • Some children may also develop autism spectrum disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Examples of severe conditions infants with Down syndrome may be at risk of include heart defects and intestinal abnormalities.

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2014

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