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October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a time devoted to celebrating the abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. About 1 in every 770 babies is born with Down syndrome in the United States each year.

Down syndrome does not typically run in families. It 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, such as low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.

Local organizations like DSC and Champaign County Down Syndrome Network (CCDSN) offer programs and services to support people with Down syndrome to achieve greater independence. 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 to their full potential and live very fulfilling lives.

DSC offers Early Intervention, Employment Services, Community Day Services, Community Living Programs, and more to assist people with Down syndrome and their family members.

For more information or to learn more, please contact Lori Wachtel at lwachtel@dsc-illinois.org or (217) 356-9176.