Friday, October 19, 2012

{31 for 21} 21 Facts About Down Syndrome

1) 1 in 691 babies is born with Down syndrome.

2) 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35.

3) There are 400,000 people living in the United States with Down syndrome.

4) 50% of babies with Down syndrome are also born with a heart defect.

5) The life expectancy for an individual with Down syndrome today is 60.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.

9) People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.

10) 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.

11) 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.

12) Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.

13) 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.

14) People with Down syndrome have feelings just like everyone else in the population. They experience the full range of emotions. They respond to positive expressions of friendship and they are hurt and upset by inconsiderate behavior.

15) People with Down syndrome date, socialize, form ongoing relationships and marry.

16) Research on Down syndrome is making great strides in identifying the genes on chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Scientists now feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.

17) About 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born each year.

18) The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother.

19) In almost every community of the United States there are parent support groups and other community organizations directly involved in providing services to families of individuals with Down syndrome.

20) Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country. The current trend in education is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of the community.

21) Increasingly, individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school with regular diplomas, participate in post-secondary academic and college experiences and, in some cases, receive college degrees.

(Source: NDSS)

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