ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME

As DSnetwork's Enrichment Center assistant, Brendan is a self-advocate amd enjoys doing weekly video blogs for the agency.

If you ask Brendan about Down syndrome, he will tell you he believes there are no limits to what can someone with Down syndrome can accomplish and with the opportunity, he can do anything he puts his mind to.
The abilities far out weigh the disability!

learn about down syndrome

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome, the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition, most often occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21), but may also occur due to translocation or mosaicism. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.

In Arizona, 161 babies a year are born with Down syndrome. 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.

Down syndrome is usually identified at birth, or shortly after. Initially, the diagnosis is based on physical characteristics that are commonly seen in babies with Down syndrome. However, the diagnosis must be confirmed by a chromosome study, karyotype.

Children with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate. Children with Down syndrome are more like other children than they are different; they learn and grow. They simply achieve their goals at a different pace. Each individual has their own unique personality, capabilities and talents. One should always use “people-first” language. For example: a newborn is a baby with Down syndrome, not a Down’s baby.

With appropriate education, therapy, social support and opportunity, individuals with Down syndrome will lead fulfilling and productive lives.

How common is Down syndrome?

One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.

Does maternal age matter?

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 with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

What are some of the health issues?

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.

What is the life expectancy?
  • Children with Down syndrome benefit from early intervention therapies which help them meet their developmental milestones
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed in 1975 insuring all children with Down syndrome access to a free and appropriate public education.
  • Young adults with Down syndrome are graduating from high school with their peers and some are going on to college!
  • Many adults with Down syndrome are getting married and living full and productive lives.
  • With continued emphasis on research, scientists believe it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.

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