1. Down syndrome is simply when you have three of chromosome 21, hence the name Trisomy 21
2. The name Down syndrome comes from the man John Langdon Down who first described the syndrome in 1866.
3. DS is a chromosomal condition, it is NOT a disease. People with DS are not sick unless they have a cold, the flue or whatever. They are healthy. When referring to people/kids around someone with DS, do not refer to the others as healthy. That is rude and simply not true.
4. People with DS do not suffer more than you or I. DS does not hurt. Remember, no one is sick.
5. DS is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status.
6. People with DS are more alike people without DS than different.
7. DS is usually caused by an error in the cell division. It is not known why this occurs.
8. Although DS increases with an older maternity age, 80% of children with DS are bon to women under 35 years of age.
9. Most children with DS attend the school in their regular surrounding, some in regular classes some in special education classes.
10. There are four types of DS: non-disjunctional (free trisomy 21), mosaic, translocation, and partial DS.
11. If you were to do a blood test of a greater portion of all your blood cells you would find that also you had cells with three of chromosome 21.
12. Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. People with DS are not always happy, loving and smiling. Believe me. Or come to my house and see for yourself.
17. There is wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique personality, capabilities and talents.
18. 30% – 50% of the individuals with Down syndrome have heart defects and 8% – 12% have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth. Most of these defects are now correctable by surgery.
19. Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.
20. In adulthood, many persons with Down syndrome hold jobs, live independently and enjoy recreational opportunities in their communities.
21. Living life with a child with DS is really not that different from living a life with kids without DS. Remember, we are more alike than different.