Down Syndrome, which is also known as trisomy 21, is a disorder that an infant is born with an extra chromosome. A normal baby is born with 46 chromosomes and a baby who has down syndrome is born with 47 chromosomes. The reason this happens is called nondisjunction, which is were there was an error in cell division. So, this extra chromosome is what affects how the brain and the body of a baby develops as he/she gets older and due to this a baby can develop mental disabilities, physical challenges, and obvious physical features that might stand out. Down syndrome babies also have health risks which include, hearing loss, eyesight problems, constant ear infections, heart defects, and get sick frequently for long periods of time. Down syndrome babies will not all be the same, they will each have their own uniqueness. Compared to normal babies, babies born with down syndrome are much more delayed in certain areas like speech, walking, motor skills, and so on. In the article, there has been a new development called fetal therapy for down syndrome that scientists have tested on three different pregnant women. Based on the article, “Fetal Therapy for Down Syndrome…, Biochemical inputs (neurotransmitters, drugs, hormones, nutrients, and functional stimulation are integrated to optimize the growth and survival of neurons individually; other cells; subcellular organelles; and the brain as a whole.” Again, there will be three cases we will be looking at to see how fetal therapy and education worked out for the down syndrome babies.
In case 1, the subject is thirty-nine-year-old white pregnant women, who took it upon herself to take her own treatments. She took prenatal vitamins, different kinds of vitamin b, a candy that was ginger-based, an herb known as Gotu-Kola. This herb called Gotu-kola, is a parsley-like herb that inhibits acetylcholinesterase, has antioxidant properties, and is thought to enhance memory, cognition, and mood (Baggot). She was unaware of her unborn baby having down syndrome throughout her pregnancy, but she wanted to enhance her baby’s brain development either way. Part of her helping her baby’s brain development she would read to her unborn child for thirty minutes every day. Her unborn child was also exposed to music due to her work environment. When the baby was born the mother made a wise choice by breastfeeding her/him until the age of three. As soon as the baby was born the mother made sure to give the baby the best education, put him into stimulation movement classes, read about fifteen books a day to him, went over flash cards for reading and math, show him how to count on his fingers, and counting was part of his everyday life. At the age of six months, the baby had to have heart surgery done, which is a result of having down syndrome. When it came time to evaluate the child, the evaluators were surprised with the progress of the child. The child was not even considered to have much of a delay compared to other down syndrome children that had no education from birth. The child was able to read by the age of two and when tested he was right where most three-year-olds and four-year-olds where at in the milestones.
In case 2, the subject is forty-three-year-old white pregnant, who is pregnant with twins and whom also decided to do her own treatments. She would take folate, B-50 complex, vitamin C, and vitamin B3. This mother also did not know that her unborn children had down syndrome and she wanted to do what was best for her unborn children as well, which is to enhance the unborn baby’s brain development. She exposed her unborn children to classical music every day for an hour and she would sing to them as well for an hour every day. Unfortunately, she was not able to carry full term, so she had a C-section at thirty-six weeks due to come concerns. When the twin boys were born, they did not have features one would recognize as down syndrome except for one of the baby boys had short ears which was noticed by a nurse. Both of their blood chromosomes did show they had the forty-seven chromosomes. The mother did breastfeed these twin boys but, in the article, it does not say for how long. While breastfeeding, the mom noticed that one of the boys was unengaging and had a listless look. According to the article, “Two days after starting eight hundred mcg folate daily, the formerly immobile twin crawled across the floor on his forearms. The twins were placed on a high-dose multivitamin at about eight to twelve months (Baggot).” The mom took it upon herself to teach her twins academically as well as help them with their gross motor skills by letting them spend as much time as they could crawling around on the floor. She taught them to sign to help them communicate and to stimulate their speech, she read to them, she would count with them, she even exposed them to music, drumming and having them sing as well. Helping them with their physical development was important to start at an early age. At the age of one they knew how to swim and they played basketball. By the time they were four years old, the twin boys were able to count to one hundred, write, and read. When this article was published, the twin boys were nineteen years old and they focus most of their time in athletics and they are passionate about reading and drawing. In high school, they were enrolled in a home school program that taught them how to live in the real world, and how to do things for themselves.
In case 3, the subject is a thirty-eight-year-old pregnant mother who sought help since she was at high risk of carrying a baby with down syndrome. But unfortunately, the institutional review board would not help because they said the treatment would not work anymore and that it would be very expensive. During the pregnancy the mother just took multivitamins, and just like the other mothers, this mother read to her unborn child, exposed her to music, and both mother and father sang to their unborn child as well. But what is different with this case is that the father is involved in his unborn child’s brain enhancement and while singing he had his head on the wife’s pregnant belly. “Ultrasound revealed a short femur, increased nuchal thickness, and flat nasal bridge (Baggot).” She gave birth to a baby girl at thirty-seven weeks, and the blood chromosomes showed the baby had forty-seven chromosomes, but she did not show any physical features of having down syndrome. When the baby girl was born, both parents did their part to help their baby’s brain development. The mother took care of reading and singing, the father would take care of the flash cards and prayers, and the grandma would help by singing to her in Spanish. According to the article, “the baby was crawling on the third day of life (Baggot).” When the baby girl was evaluated at nine months showed that she was progressing based on the development of a seven-month-old.