The Three Cs of Down Syndrome
Adapted from a speech by Elizabeth Lopez, Collin County Community College
Speech Outline: The Three Cs of Down Syndrome
General purpose: To inform
Speech goal: In this speech, I am going to familiarize the audience with the three Cs of Down syndrome: its causes, its characteristics, and the contributions people with Down syndrome make.
I. In our lifetime, we will encounter many people who, for a variety of reasons, are “different.”
II. Today I want to speak to you about one of those differences—Down syndrome.
III. Why do I want to talk about this topic? Because I have a daughter who has Down syndrome.
IV. In this speech, I will discuss with you the three Cs of Down syndrome. (Slide 1: Causes, Characteristics, and Contributions)
I. To begin, let it be understood what causes Down syndrome.
1. Although Down syndrome is a genetic condition, it is not hereditary.
1. People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the normal 46 (https://www.nads.org/w).
2. Thisextrachromosomeiscausedbyarandomerrorincelldivisionwithin chromosome 21 prior to conception. (Slide 2: Chromosome 21)
3. Although individuals do not inherit the mutant chromosome 21, so neither parent is to blame, once a couple has a child with Down syndrome, the likelihood of reoccurrence with the same two parents is increased. (Slide 3: Genetic but Not Inherited)
2. There are approximately 350,000 people living in the United States with Down syndrome.
1. Down syndrome occurs in one of every 800 live births, and an unknown number of fetuses with Down syndrome are aborted each year.
2. Women over the age of 35 are most likely to produce chromosome 21–altered eggs, but most children with Down syndrome are born to younger mothers because younger women have a greater percentage of babies.
Transition: Now that you know what causes Down syndrome, I want to describe the key physical and mental differences that people with this syndrome have.
II. People with Down syndrome differ from others both physically and mentally.
1. People with Down syndrome look different, and this syndrome also can create a number of physical health problems. (Slide 4: Characteristics: Physical and Health Differences)
1. The major physical differences are facial, such as a flat face, slanted eyes, and a large tongue in conjunction with a small mouth, but people with Down syndrome also experience low muscle tone.
2. The major health concerns include heart defects, hearing loss, vision loss, and a weaker immune system.
2. Second, people with Down syndrome are also mentally different, experiencing developmental delays, cognitive impairments, and emotional precociousness. (Slide 5: Characteristics)
1. The delayed developmental characteristics of Down syndrome are speech, cognitive, and motor skills.
2. The cognitive developmental characteristics of children with Down syndrome are varied among children with Down syndrome.
3. People with Down syndrome are emotionally precocious.
Transition: Now that you understand what Down syndrome is and how people with the syndrome differ from others, I would like to explain the special and unique ways that people with Down syndrome contribute to others.
III. People with Down syndrome positively affect their families and communities. (Slide 6: Contributions)
1. What are the positive contributions people with Down syndrome make in families?
1. Families with a child who has Down syndrome often include a tighter marriage and more compassionate siblings.
2. Families with a child who has Down syndrome also tend to experience a higher degree of acceptance in their communities.
2. People with Down syndrome contribute to their communities.
1. Children with Down syndrome who are mainstreamed in classrooms teach their peers to value differences.
2. Many adults with Down syndrome in the workplace are role models of dedication and perseverance.
I. To review, now you know that Down syndrome is caused by a preconception change in chromosome 21 that causes people with Down syndrome to be physically and mentally different, and you also know that many people with Down syndrome make positive contributions to society.
II. So, the next time you encounter someone with Down syndrome, I hope you’ll remember what you have learned so you can enjoy getting to know this person rather than being afraid.
Faragher, Rhonda. “Down Syndrome: It’s a Matter of Quality of Life.” Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 49 (October 2005):761–765. Academic Search Premier. BSCOE Host Research Databases. Collin County Community College District. Accessed October 7, 2005. www.web27.epnet.com.
Helders, Paul. “Children with Down Syndrome.” 2005: 141. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOE Host Research Databases. Collin County Community College District. Accessed October 7, 2005. www.web27.epnet.com.
National Down Syndrome Society. “Information and Resources.” Accessed October 7, 2005. www.ndss.org.
National Association for Down Syndrome. Accessed October 7, 2005. www.nads.org. Rietveld, Christine. “Classroom Learning Experiences by New Children with Down Syndrome.” Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability 30 (September 2005): 127–138. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOE Host Research Databases. Collin County Community College District. Accessed October 7, 2005. www.web27.epnet.com.
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