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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Down Syndrome


Down Syndrome
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Print Down Syndrome Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.38

     challenging words:    housing, inclusion, nondisjunction, pulling-out, push-in, chromosome, hands-on, sequence, dementia, educational, faulty, abnormal, dating, various, profile, assistance
     content words:    Down Syndrome, Jerome Lejeune, United States, Disabilities Act, In May

Down Syndrome
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Have you ever heard of Down syndrome? Do you know what Down syndrome is? It is a chromosomal disorder. It causes certain traits. Those with the disorder often experience more medical problems than others.
2     What causes Down syndrome? In 1959, Dr. Jerome Lejeune discovered that the cause of Down syndrome was an extra 21st chromosome. It is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. It is often called trisomy 21. How common is Down syndrome? About one in every 700 children born in the U.S. has it.
3     In 95% of those with the disorder, faulty cell division creates three number 21 chromosomes instead of two. That is called nondisjunction. The chance of having a child with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother, but the cause of nondisjunction is still unknown. A 35 year old mother has a 1 in 350 chance of having a Down syndrome child. A 40 year old mother has a 1 in 100 chance. A 45 year old mother has a 1 in 30 chance.
4     In the United States, 400,000 families are affected by this disorder. Around 6,000 babies are born each year with it.
5     When a baby is born, certain traits often indicate Down syndrome. There is often a flat facial profile, an upward slant to the eyes, abnormally shaped ears, a single deep crease across the center of the palm, an excessive ability to extend joints, low muscle tone, and enlargement of the tongue.

Paragraphs 6 to 13:
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