Down Syndrome: Background information when reading The Shock of The Fall

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The Shock of The Fall

(originally published in hardcover in USA as Where the Moon Isn't)

by Nathan Filer

The Shock of The Fall
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2013, 320 pages
    Oct 2014, 320 pages

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Beyond the Book:
Down Syndrome

In Where The Moon Isn't, the protagonist's brother, Simon Homes, has Down syndrome.

Down syndrome manifestation Down syndrome is the most common genetic abnormality being present in one of every 691 births in the United States. All humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Down's is caused when the 21st set has a partial or a whole extra copy, which means that there are three copies of the 21st chromosome (trisomy). Trisomies can occur with other pairs of chromosomes as well, giving rise to different disorders, but Down's is defined as the one affecting the 21st pair only. This error in cell division happens at conception and its causes are still unknown.

Down's manifests itself with a particular set of facial characteristics including flattened profile and slight upward slant to the eyes. There is a greater chance of heart problems with Down's and babies are usually screened immediately to identify these. Individuals with Down's usually have a higher rate of thyroid and respiratory infections as well. Most ...

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