Down syndrome is not a spectrum. You can’t have a “severe case” or even “just a little bit.” Whether or not you have an extra chromosome is pretty definitive!

But how that extra chromosome affects different people is a very individual thing. There is surprisingly little information about what the 21st chromosome controls. We know generalities like people with DS are prone to low muscle tone, intellectual disabilities, certain physical features and heart defects, but the specifics vary from person to person.

There are 3 types of Down syndrome. All involve an extra copy of the 21st chromosome – Trisomy 21 denotes that it is present in all cells, while with Mosiacism it is present in a percentage of cells throughout the body. In people with Translocation, a portion of the 21st chromosome breaks off during cell division and attaches to another chromosome.

I have come to learn that it doesn’t matter one bit how any one person is affected by that extra chromosome or what kind of Down syndrome they have. Frankie’s needs are her needs no matter what, and we can best serve her by addressing her as an individual ❤