Facts about Down Syndrome

  1. Fact 1

    Down syndrome is the most commonly occuring chromosomal condition.

  2. Fact 2

    One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome

  3. Fact 3

    Trisomy 21 accounts for c. 95% of all cases of Down syndrome and occurs as a result of three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two.

  4. Fact 4

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

  5. Fact 5

    Instead of referring to individuals as "Mongolian" or "Downs", it is preferable to use the term individuals with "Down syndrome" to describe their condition.

  6. Fact 6

    Down syndrome is named after Dr. Langdon Down, an English physician who first described some of the distinctive characteristics of people with Down syndrome.

  7. Fact 7

    Down syndrome is a condition or a syndrome, not a disease.

  8. Fact 8

    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 wth Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35.

  9. Fact 9

    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.

  10. Fact 10

    Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 years old in 1983 to 60 years old today.

  11. Fact 11

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

  12. Fact 12

    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 each individual possesses.

  13. Fact 13

    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.

  14. Fact 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. Fact 15

    Approximately half of all children born with Down syndrome have a heart defect.

  16. Fact 16

    Approximately 25% of individuals with Down syndrome over the age of 35 are at risk of developing Alzheimers disease.

  17. Fact 17

    Particular attention should be given to vision in people with Down syndrome. Eye disease is reported in over half of patients, ranging from less severe problems such as tear duct abnormalities to vision threatening diagnoses.

  18. Fact 18

    Studies show that the incidence of thyroid disease in adults with Down syndrome varies between 13%-50%, depending on the individual study. Hypothyroidism can occur at any time from infancy through to adulthood.

  19. Fact 19

    People with Down syndrome are people first and should not be defined by their condition. Use their given names to speak to them or of them rather than those "people with Down syndrome".

  20. Fact 20

    Children with Down syndrome can sit, walk, talk, play and engage in a variety of other activities.

  21. Fact 21

    We are more alike than different. It's just an extra chromosome.

 

References

The information featured in this section is reproduced via an exclusive arrangement with National Down Syndrome Society [ONLINE] Available at http://www.ndss.org