Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21: Okay, Here are a Few More (Unusual) Myths for Ya...

Okay, so this post may be a bit "out there" and you'll probably be chastising me privately (or publicly - hey, there's room for comments!) for not doing my research first, but since so many Ds blogs out there are posting the myths and realities of Down syndrome this month, here are a few more for ya - two odd myths I've heard about people with Down syndrome that I'm inclined to believe, although they're a little, um, unusual, and obviously open to either interpretation (the nice version) or total disbelief ("where the heck did you get that??")...  Holy crap, was that seriously only one run-on sentence?  I can almost sense all of my English-Teachers-Past rolling their eyes and sighing in acknowledgement of their failure right now.

**People with Down syndrome are more likely to have straight hair.  Really.  Just think about it...have you ever seen someone with Down syndrome that has curly hair?  I have seen very few with wavy hair, but no curls.  And this may vary by race, but if you're strictly polling caucasians, this is what I'm finding.  I wonder if there is something unusual about the hair of people of other races with Ds, too.  Samantha's hair is super-straight.  And fine.  If I braid it and it stays in braids all day and even overnight, it only takes a few short hours of not being in the braids for all the glorious, shiny crimpy waves to fall out and her hair to return to it's stick-straight resting state. 

**People with Down syndrome may be more likely to have blue eyes (although this is certainly not always the case...keep reading).  I seriously can't remember where I heard this, or how credible it may be, but I can't help to think that it may be true.  Does that extra chromosome find that recessive blue gene and bring it to the forefront?  I remember, from 6th grade science, that you have to have 2 blues (one from your father and one from your mother) to make a blue.  Or a green.  Or a hazel.  Or, really, anything but brown.  Meaning, that somewhere in the family trees and genetic make-ups of both the father and the mother, there are family  members (distant or otherwise) that made their mark on the blood lines by having blue eyes.  And if science is correct (as it invariably is), this had to have gone all the way back to the beginning.  To the very first two cavemen to walk the earth, right?  Now, I'm certainly no scientist, so I can't account for mutations and environmental modifications over time, but theoretically this is correct, right?  Now I'm getting off my track here...my point being, that the extra chromosome may dictate a dominance by that blue gene.  I don't know of any people in my family with blue eyes.  I think there are some hazels back a way on both sides, but no blues.  This means there had to have been blues somewhere, though.  Steve's family is predominantly blue, so there's no question there.  I'd venture a guess that any child of ours would be more likely to have brown eyes, since brown dominates my family into the visible past, right? 
But Samantha has absolutely gorgeous, brilliant blue eyes.  Really?  This child is mine??  Wow!!  And wow again, every time I think about how unusual that must be.  (Okay, armchair scientists, and even real scientists - please stop laughing and set me straight?)  I just tried Googling this and came up with...nothing.  I think I may be just making this up as I go along.  Made you all think, though, right?

And please add any other unusual physical myths you may have heard over the years (other than the usual Bruschfield spots, palmar creases, etc. that fill the Ds medical journals).

12 comments:

Pallavi said...

The Straight hair thing is not a myth I believe. Navya's hair is also super straight and silky.
Nobody in our family has such silky straight hair.
Cant comment on the Blue color.. I have never seen an Indian with Blue eyes. :)

stephanie said...

I'm with you on the blue eyes! as a mother of five plus a bonus step daughter all with gorgeous and different shades of BROWN eyes. Here comes Miss E with the sparkling blue!

And to top it she's my only south paw! Taking after mom! Wonder what the stats are on Ds kids being lefties???

rae said...

Yes, I have heard the blonde, straight hair and blue eye myth. Funny thing... I have 3 boys. 2 have fine blonde hair with striking blue eyes and Sam, my chromosomally enhanced wonderboy, has super thick dark hair and dark brown eyes. Go figure.

Jennie said...

I met a little girl at NDSC this summer who had curly hair. She was with her grandparents. When I said, "Wow, she has beautiful hair," Grandma replied, "Yes, I've heard the curls are most unusual."

About the eyes... Micah has two brothers, both of whom have GORGEOUS blue eyes (like my dad's) and brown hair (like my husband's). Micah, however, does not. His eyes are hazel, like my husband's, and he has blondish hair, like mine (well, like it was BEFORE my last child, but that's a completely separate topic). :-)

I'm wondering about the southpaw thing too. Micah seems to be leaning lefty, which is ironic, because I was happy when he was born that his hand deformity (amniotic banding syndrome) is on his left hand.

Becca said...

Thank you all for not making me feel like I was totally off my rocker for posting this. LOL

And about being a lefty...Samantha's pretty much ambidextrous at the moment, able to use right and left interchangeably. We've been encouraging the right, but for some things she definitely favors her left (like leading with her left foot to go up stairs). She's a little bit better at using her right hand for stuff, so when she starts to use her left to draw or eat, I'll ask her to switch hands, which she does readily, and things are a little bit easier for her to control.

Jenny said...

Interesting post...I have heard the thing about the hair...that kids with Ds usually have very fine, straight hair...But my hair is VERY fine and straight so thats probably why most of my kids hair is the same way, including Russells...But now that I think of it, I have yet to see a child with Ds with curly hair...interesting!

Tamara said...

Interesting. Four out of five of us have brown eyes here, one has blue, and it's not Shawen. So, not sure about that. All of our hair is pretty straight. His is about the same as everyone else's. That said, I can't remember seeing anyone with really curly hair who has DS. Shawen's hair started out pretty thin and wispy, but it's about the same as everyone else's now.

Kacey Bode said...

Seriously? I just did a long comment but it is gone....

I agree witht the straight hair thing. Ella has straight straight hair, it is fine but she has a lot of it. My hair is super curly so I always dreamed of having a little girl with hair like mine... I think there is something to the blond thing too. There are lots of kiddos with blond hair! Hunter and I both have dark red hair.

Blue eyes....my husband, myself, Hunter and Ella all have blue eyes. I'm pretty sure Ella was destined to have them : )

Oh yeah Ella is strictly a righty. Her left side is considerably weaker throughout her whole body.

Nathan'smama said...

Nathan's eyes are WAY bluer than mine, and brighter blue than his dad's too. We're a blue eyed family, but his are striking. And he does have straight hair although it's the color of his dad's curly hair when his dad was a kid.

Debbie @ Three Weddings said...

Although it is a common characteristic that people with Ds have straight and often thinner hair, it is not always the case. Just like not all have webbed toes (Peanut does not) and I have seen many children with curly, wavy and/or thick hair. Peanut has straight hair but so do her sisters and me. Dad's is wavy.

As for the eyes, that 6th grade science we learned has now been determined to be wrong! I met a woman once that had a child with blue eyes and she and her husband had brown eyes. Said to be impossible according to our science class. But now they've found that it does happen. How many women have been accused of cheating based on that! Ha! As for Peanut, she has weird eyes. Pretty, but some days I would call them blue and some days a kind of green. It seems to depend on the lighting. All my girls (and hubby) have blue eyes but all different shades. Mine are brown.

Shawndi84 said...

Funny! My daughter has both curly hair and brown eyes, but she is of a mixed race. Her hair is pretty thin though. Another misconception is that you have to have 47 chromosomes if you have down syndrome, and my little princess only has 46.
I like your blog by the way! Your daughter is gorgeous!

Melissa M said...

This is very interesting! Claire has fine straight hair, but so do I. Mine didn't get curly til high school, and now is just wavy. But hubby and I were both blonder as kids than C is.

Hubby has blue eyes, and mine are green/hazel so C's blue eyes don't surprise me. But, of the 4 kids (not counting Claire) in our Ds group, 2 of them are lefties...