What Is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal abnormality where children are born with three copies of the 21st chromosome.
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
2. Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 733 babies is born with Down syndrome.
3. The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
4. People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
5. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.
6. People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
7. All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.
8. Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.
9. Researchers are making great strides in identifying the genes on Chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Many feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.
The mission of the NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.
The mission of the NDSC is to provide information, advocacy and support concerning all aspects of life for individuals with Down syndrome.
At the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, we firmly believe that if people with intellectual disabilities are provided with specific and relevant educational instruction they can reach their potential.
Refections and Musings
Health Guidelines from National Down Syndrome Society
Associated Conditions from National Down Sydnrome Society
Down Syndrome Pregnancy – We provide a free downloadable practical guide for expectant moms, Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother’s Guide to Down Syndrome. We also host an interactive blog, which gives expectant parents a place to ask questions, voice concerns, and receive feedback.
DownSyndromePregnancy.org is a non-profit organization that offers support to expectant parents who have received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis and are moving forward with their pregnancy. The material is not appropriate for women who are still weighing options about their pregnancy because it infers that a woman will be continuing a pregnancy to delivery and beyond. More appropriate resources for women weighing options are their medical providers and Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis distributed by Lettercase.org.