October is Down syndrome Awareness Month
October is Down syndrome Awareness Month. I’ve had the privilege of raising my son, for the past 23 years. Nick has Down syndrome and autism. He has touched my life, and those of so many others along the way.
Down syndrome awareness is about promoting acceptance and inclusion of all individuals with Down syndrome.
FACTS about Down syndrome from National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS):
*Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
*There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95 percent of cases, translocation accounts for about 4 percent and mosaicism accounts for about 1 percent.
*Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
*There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
*Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
*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 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35.
*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.
*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.
*Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades — from 25 years old in 1983 to 60 years old today.
*People with Down syndrome attend school, work and participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
*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.
*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.
More information @http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/What-Is-Down-Syndrome/
Here are a few simple ways to promote Down syndrome awareness:
*Post something about Down syndrome on social media
*Send updates, pictures and tell your story to your family doctor and OB-gyn.
*Many local Down syndrome support groups have promotional materials, like books and bookmarks that can be distributed at libraries and schools.
*Many local DS support groups have public speakers who can talk to schools, businesses, community groups, hospitals, and other organizations.
*Support or volunteer for local fundraisers like the Buddy Walk in your community @http://www.ndss.org/buddy-walk/
*Encourage your kids to volunteer for Special Olympics and Best Buddies programs through their school.
Thank you for supporting Down syndrome awareness this month! That’s what is in my noggin this week.