Growth Charts for Children with Down Syndrome
by Greg Richards (background by Bridget, age 9)


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Down Syndrome
General Overview
Photos of our girls
Growth Charts for
Children w/DS
Height & Weight
Head Circumference
Growth Charts for Typical Children
Clinical and Individual Growth Charts from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website

Frequently Asked Questions
(coming soon)

About the author
About Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which there are three 21st chromosomes instead of the usual two.  Most people have 46 chromosomes per cell -- originating from the 23 chromosomes in the mother's egg and 23 in the father's sperm.  Not all people with Down syndrome have the same chromosomal arrangement, however.

Ninety-five percent of people with Down syndrome (trisomy 21) have 47 chromosomes per cell (they have an extra #21 chromosome).  This common type of trisomy 21 is called non-disjunction.

Three to four percent of people with Down syndrome have Robertsonian Translocation, where the number of chromosomes is normal, but the extra chromosome 21 material is attached with chromosome 14.

The remainder have a rare type of Down syndrome in which some of their cells have 46 chromosomes and some have 47 chromosomes.  This is called mosaicism.

If you would like an in-depth description of the history and genetics of Down syndrome, see Dr. Len Leshin's essay from his excellent internet resource on Down syndrome,

Although children with Down syndrome do not have the same genetic makeup as other children, they are more like typical children than they are different.

Down syndrome is named after Dr. John Langdon Down, an English physician who first described the characteristic features of Trisomy-21.  People now use the term "Down syndrome" as opposed to "Down's syndrome" because Dr. Down did not have Down syndrome, and he did not own Down syndrome.

In the USA, we prefer to use the term "Child with Down syndrome" instead of "Down's Child", "Down syndrome child", "Down's kid", or just "Down's".  Here's the philosophy behind it:

It would be nice if everyone could think of children with Down syndrome as children first, and their disability second, hence "Child with Down syndrome".

Children with Down syndrome do grow and develop differently than most other children, but it seems that growth charts for our kids may not be available to many pediatricians and parents.  By having an internet resource for growth charts for children with Down syndrome, these charts should be easy to find and use.

It is a good idea to keep high expectations for children with Down syndrome.  If your expectations are too low, the child may not be challenged to learn.  Of course it is not a good idea to have unrealistic expectations.  Repeated failure will lead to frustration for both parent and child, and may have a negative impact on the child's self esteem.

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Disclaimer:  The author is not a medical professional, and information here is not to be substituted for medical advice.  Please contact your child's physician if you have medical questions.


Revised: August 28, 2001