Disabilities Guide

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As respected authorities on Down syndrome and related genetic disorders, Camille and Dr. Michael Geraldi are often consulted by professionals, as well as countless families, for their guidance and expertise. They strive to raise awareness about these disorders and disabilities. If you or someone you love is disabled and needs help, please feel free to Contact Us.

Below, you’ll find brief descriptions of some of the disabilities we encounter, along with websites for further reference:

Autism is a complex developmental disorder that affects communication and interaction with others. It varies greatly in level of intelligence and disability.

Many children with congenital disorders are born with cardiac defects, so we have to be experts on this as well.

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that occurs when the brain suffers from lack of oxygen. It can occur alone or along with other disorders, varies in level of severity and can include physical disabilities, mental 
disabilities or both.

Cleft lip, cleft palate and cleft face are three types of craniofacial deformations.

Crie du Chat Syndrome, also called Cat’s Cry or 5p Minus syndrome, is a relatively rare congenital disorder characterized by poor muscle tone, difficulty speaking, hyperactivity and trouble feeding.

Down syndrome, a congenital disorder, is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition and one of the disabilities closest to the heart of our Foundation. It occurs when an individual has three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of two. They often have low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes and cognitive delays.

Holoprosencephaly, Lissencephaly and Anencephaly are relatively rare, severe congenital brain defects.

Two more common but just as involved congenital brain defects are microcephaly and hydrocephalus.

Noonan’s Syndrome can affect the heart, blood clotting, and mental and physical development. Affected individuals may have behavior problems and learning difficulties, among other challenges.

9p minus syndrome, also called Alfi’s Syndrome or Monosomy 9p, is a rare chromosomal abnormality that effects physical and mental development.

Organic Brain 
Syndrome is a general term for a number of factors that can lead to decreased mental function.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect persons of all ages and can be caused by a diverse variety of situations.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a disorder that occurs all too often in the U.S. To learn more about the damage caused by this form of child abuse and to support efforts to prevent it. 

Spina Bifida is a common birth defect that can cause fluid on the brain, incontinence, depression and learning disabilities.

Spinal meningitis is a disease that involves an infection of the fluid surrounding the spinal cord and brain. It can have severe consequences if not properly identified and treated.

Trisomy 13 and 18 are two chromosomal disorders that can cause poor physical development and mental disabilities.

Zellweger Syndrome is a disease of the brain that affects how the body metabolizes substances in the blood and organ tissues. Most people born with Zellwegers don’t survive more than six months.


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