Understanding the Unique Qualities of Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is when a person has an extra chromosome, which causes physical and intellectual delays. A random genetic event usually causes it, and there is no known cause. Most parents of children with Down syndrome are not affected by the disorder. It is suggested that older mothers may have a greater chance of bearing a child with Down syndrome.

Even though there is no cure for Down syndrome, it can enhance the quality of life for those affected. Through specialized therapies, treatments, and attentive care, children with Down Syndrome can manage their health complications, like heart, lung, and intestinal issues. Additionally, with the help of a disability attorney, children afflicted with this condition can qualify for social security.

Kinds of Down Syndrome

There are three kinds of Down syndrome; each one varies depending on the number of chromosome 21s present in the cells. 

  • Trisomy 21, or standard Down syndrome, is the most common type, where each cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 21. 
  • Mosaic Down syndrome occurs when only some cells have three copies of chromosome 21.
  • Translocation Down syndrome occurs when part of chromosome 21 is attached to another chromosome. The symptoms and physical traits of these three types of Down syndrome can be quite similar, making it difficult to tell them apart without looking at the chromosomes.

Underlying Symptoms

People with Down syndrome typically have distinct facial features, cognitive delays, and difficulty with motor skills. Common physical characteristics include: 

  • Low muscle tone.
  • Upward slanting eyes. 
  • A single deep crease across the palm. 

Cognitive delays may include: 

  • Delays in speech and language development.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Problems with abstract thinking. 

Meanwhile, motor skill delays can include: 

  • Struggles with balance, coordination, and fine motor skills.

Qualifying for Benefits If Suffering from Down Syndrome

The Blue Book is a reference guide developed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help applicants understand the criteria for being approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) when filing a claim for Trisomy 21 (non-mosaic Down syndrome). Listing 10.06 in the Blue Book outlines the essential requirements for successfully approving this condition.

Mosaic Down syndrome and Translocation Down syndrome are both medical conditions that can affect different body systems. Depending on which body system is affected, SSS personnel will evaluate the condition under the relevant chapter in the medical guidelines. For example, if a person with mosaic Down syndrome has hearing problems, the proper authorities would evaluate them under Chapter 2, Special Senses and Speech-Adult.

For utmost certainty, it is better to consult with a disability attorney first. This guarantees that all parties proceed according to due process and can avoid miscommunication or penalties.

Medical Vocational Allowance

An applicant with Down syndrome who is unable to meet the Blue Book’s criteria may still be eligible for disability payments if they are not able to do unskilled work. Unskilled work is any job that doesn’t require much training or experience, and the symptoms of Down syndrome can be so severe that it prevents one from performing such a job. In these cases, the person may be eligible for benefits through the medical-vocational allowance.

In Closing

Always consult an attorney first to learn your loved one’s rights. While there are provisions in the law for persons with Down syndrome, it is always best to move forward with prior knowledge and expertise to avoid mishaps or misunderstandings.

Qualify for the Disability Benefits Due You with Avard Law

Our lawyers specialize in social security disability, personal injury, veterans’ benefits, and more in South Florida. Speak with a disability attorney in Fort Myers by calling (888) 685-7930!


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