Acquired the normal two (Graziano 2002). Some

Acquired diseases and disabilities are caused by both genetic and environmental factors (Graziano 2002).  In the case of genetic illnesses such as schizophrenia, environment as well as age play a part in the development ( Other genetic disabilities are solely the result of gene mutations that are inherited from the parents, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), Tay-Sachs, and Sickle Cell Anemia (Graziano 2002). These mutations are passed to the children in the form of recessive genes from one or both parents and affect a particular chromosome in the child, depending on the particular disease (Graziano 2002).  Genetic counseling is recommended for parents with known chromosomal mutations. Environment alone plays a role in some chromosomal disabilities. For example, cri du chat syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome are caused by a break or deletion to part of a chromosome and is suspected to be caused from toxic substances or even radiation while the fetus is still developing (Graziano 2002).  Some disability-causing diseases that are not genetically linked happen when children are exposed to certain bacteria or viruses.  Some examples are polio, measles, and mumps.  Potential lasting disabilities resulting from these illnesses include hearing loss, brain damage, or crippling damage (  While there are vaccines that can prevent these diseases, not all children may become vaccinated against them because of religious or medical reasons. Trisomy-21, or Down syndrome, is a genetic disorder that is affected by environment.  When I was 35 years old, I became pregnant with my fifth child.  Because of my age (environment), I was at greater risk of having a child with trisomy-21 (genetic).  This is a mutation on the 21st chromosome where an extra chromosome is attached, usually coming from one of the parents, giving that particular chromosome three parts instead of the normal two (Graziano 2002).  Some of the disabilities associated with this syndrome are heart defect, mental retardation, poor muscle tone, and susceptibility to infection, particularly in the lungs.  My son was born with Down syndrome and, in fact, needed open heart surgery to repair his atrioventricular canal  (a-v canal) defect, where all four chambers of the heart are open to one another.  Further, because he was always susceptible to common colds, we were more careful with hand washing and keeping him away from sick people in order to keep him safe.  There is only so much a family can do when a “cold” comes around and sadly, my son passed away at age seven months from complications from a common cold.  In this case, the overarching disability was the fact that he was more prone to catching colds, therefore we had to live our lives around keeping him safe.  Had he lived longer, we would have the added disability of his mental retardation and would have needed to accommodate for that.