Difference Between Autism and Down Syndrome

Difference Between Autism and Down Syndrome

One of the most common manifestations of Down syndrome is the development of an individual’s face, which is caused by a gene mutation on the 23rd chromosome. Smaller heads, flatter faces, and shorter necks are just a few examples of these morphologies.

Neurological disorder autism does not alter the facial characteristics of those who suffer from it. This is contrary to popular belief. It alters the person’s mental state, but they don’t look any different as a result.

Unlike autism, Down syndrome causes bodily changes in the affected person, but autism doesn’t.


People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have delays in cognitive and social development. Individuals’ cognitive and communication capacities are significantly impacted by this neurological condition, which affects the nerve system. The person’s capacity to communicate with others is significantly weakened.

As a result, the underlying reasons of the condition remain a mystery to doctors. However, inherited factors are one of the most widely accepted risk factors. Boys are more likely to develop autism than females, according to CDC research.

During a baby’s first few years of life, the signs of autism begin to emerge. Most symptoms begin to appear between the ages of 12 and 24 months. Problems with social contact, understanding social signals, and repeating patterns of conduct are a few examples of these symptoms. In order to establish a diagnosis of autism, developmental screenings and other testing have been started

Autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, PDD-NOS, and childhood disintegrative disorder are all considered to be on the autism spectrum. The disease has no treatment options. Behavioral therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and other forms of treatment are all effective ways to treat it.

Down Syndrome

An extra copy of the 21st chromosome causes Down syndrome, a genetic disease. A person born with this illness will have significant delays in both their physical and mental development.

Down syndrome may be broken down into three distinct categories. When it comes to statistics, Trisomy 21 is the most frequent type of Down syndrome. In this case, the person has an extra copy of the gene in each of their cells. In mosaicism, some but not all cells of the kid have the additional copy. It’s also possible for a kid to have a translocation, in which just a portion of the 21st chromosome is present.

Children with Down syndrome have smaller heads and ears, flat faces, a shorter neck, and other physical characteristics that may be seen. Learning difficulties, impulsiveness, and a shortened attention span are just a few examples of cognitive disorders. People with the syndrome are more likely to suffer from physical problems such as impaired eyesight, congenital heart abnormalities, leukemia, and more.

This genetic disease may be detected using prenatal testing such as amniocentesis, CVS, and others. Karyotype testing is also done after the birth of a child to check that the diagnosis is correct.

Difference Between Autism and Down Syndrome

Autism is a neurological illness, while Down syndrome is a genetic condition. In the first case, the individual’s physical characteristics are unaffected, but the genetic mutation in the second causes some distinguishable physical characteristics in those who are affected.

Each illness has a different diagnostic timeframe. While autism may be identified in the first few months of a child’s life, Down syndrome can be found in the womb.

When a person has autism, their capacity to communicate is severely hampered because of the severity of their developmental impairments. However, a third copy of the 21st chromosome causes Down syndrome, which is a hereditary disorder.

Each ailment has a distinct cause. Down syndrome is created by an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in the fetus, but the reasons of autism remain a mystery.

Autistic people see the world in a unique way. Social cognition, communication, and sensory sensitivity are just a few of the problems that might arise as a result of the illness. Down syndrome, on the other hand, slows the development of a person. Smaller facial features and learning problems are also a result of this.

Autism is a disorder that occurs on a continuum. This suggests that people with autism react differently to the condition. In addition to being autistic, Asperger’s Syndrome is also a disorder. Down syndrome, on the other hand, is not part of a spectrum.


Patients with autism and Down syndrome both suffer from significant disabilities as a result of their medical illnesses. There is a big distinction between the two illnesses, though.

Unlike autism, Down syndrome is a genetic disease that results from the deletion of the 21st chromosome. There are several bodily changes that do not occur in people with autism.

Children with Down syndrome, on the other hand, have distinct physical characteristics. When it comes to social and cognitive deficits, autism is a spectrum illness that may affect people in different ways. However, for persons with Down syndrome, this is not the case.

The etiology of each ailment, the diagnostic window accessible, the limitations induced, and so on, are all unique. Understanding the variations between both illnesses is critical to acquainting oneself with both of them.