(Exceptional Student Education (ESE) / Down Syndrome Awareness Month, 2019)
Down syndrome occurs across the human spectrum and is the most common chromosomal condition. According to the World Health Organization, about 1 in 1000 babies are born with this condition worldwide. The prevalence of Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age. It is associated with delays in physical growth, characteristic facial features and intellectual disability.
The truth is that children born with Down syndrome can absolutely go on to live happy and long lives. And with Down Syndrome Awareness Month every October, we can be inspired to learn more about this topic and to celebrate people born with Down syndrome and the medical advancements that increasingly improve their quality of life.
5 Interesting Facts About Down Syndrome:
1.Society has changed for the better
In ancient times, infants with Down syndrome were often killed or abandoned. And even in modern times, many people with Down syndrome were institutionalized.
2.Pregnancy testing can pinpoint Down syndrome
According to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, “Down syndrome has nothing to do with race, nationality, socioeconomic status, religion, or anything the mother or father did during pregnancy.” Mothers can learn through diagnostics tests during pregnancy whether or not their baby has Down syndrome.
3.There are three types
Of the three types of Down syndrome — trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) is most prevalent. Translocation and mosaicism account for about 5 percent of cases combined.
4.People with Down can live full, rich lives
An emphasis on education, a loving and stimulating home environment, and quality health care enable people with Down syndrome to have full and productive lives.
5.Life expectancy is increasing
As reported by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, “As recently as 1983, the average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome was 25 years. The dramatic increase is largely due to the end of the inhumane practice of institutionalizing people with Down syndrome.”
Why Down Syndrome Awareness Month is Important:
1.It spreads awareness
Down Syndrome Awareness Month teaches people about this topic. As UpWithDowns.org reminds us, we should “celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of (their) abilities and accomplishments.”
Down Syndrome Awareness Month helps us celebrate abilities, rather than disabilities, as various Down Syndrome Associations in the United States teach.
Down Syndrome Awareness Month can definitely help foster inclusion, understanding, and more opportunities for people with Down syndrome.
Pcsb.org. 2019. Exceptional Student Education (ESE) / Down Syndrome Awareness Month. [online] Available at: <https://www.pcsb.org/Page/31789> [Accessed 25 October 2020].