SPHERE shares important information on World Down’s Syndrome Day!
1. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has an extra complete or partial copy of chromosome 21. This extra genetic material changes the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
2. There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (non-disjunction) represents 95% of cases, translocation represents approximately 4% and mosaicism represents approximately 1%.
3. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder. In the United States, about one in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year
4. Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
5. The incidence of births of children with Down’s syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates among younger women, 80% of children with Down’s syndrome are born to women under 35. People with Down syndrome are at increased risk for certain medical conditions such as birth defects, breathing 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.
6. Some of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are: poor muscle tone, short stature, upward tilt of the eyes, and a single deep crease in the center of the palm. Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may have these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.
7. The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
8. People with Down syndrome go to school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
9. 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.
10. 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 lead fulfilling and productive lives.