Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. About one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. There are over four million people in the world with Down syndrome, including over 400,000 in the U.S.
Down syndrome occurs when a baby is born with 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.
Let’s debunk a few myths about Down syndrome:
Myth: People with Down syndrome do not live very long.
Fact: Today, people with Down syndrome can look forward to a long life given the right medical attention.
Myth: Only older mothers have babies with Down syndrome.
Fact: Although older mothers have a higher individual chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, 80% are born to mothers under the age of 35, reflecting the higher birth rate in this age group.
Myth: People with Down syndrome all look the same.
Fact: There are certain physical characteristics that may occur. People with Down syndrome can have all of them or none. A person with Down syndrome will always look more like his or her close family than someone else with the condition.
Myth: People with Down syndrome are always happy and affectionate.
Fact: People with Down syndrome are no different from anyone else in their character traits and varying moods.
DSC collaborates with Champaign County Down Syndrome Network (CCDSN). CCDSN focuses on providing educational and social opportunities for its members. CCDSN has been a long-time contributor to DSC’s Holiday Wish List, an opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for people who receive services from DSC, who might not otherwise receive gifts.
People with Down syndrome can achieve their life goals with support from organizations like DSC. Quality educational programs, a stimulating living environment, good health care, and a positive support system, including family, friends, and the community, enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and live very fulfilling lives.