Today marks the 12th World Down Syndrome Day to raise awareness on the disorder.
Every year, Down Syndrome International encourages people to choose activities that will raise awareness on Down Syndrome. To let people know that those living with it play a vital role in our lives.
By understanding the issues they face in their everyday lives, and recognising the steps people can take to help them realise their full potential, a real difference can be made to enrich the lives of those living with the condition.
10 Things About Down Syndrome
- It is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division which results in an extra 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material changes the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with it.
- The exact cause of the extra chromosome that triggers this disorder is unknown.
- In 1983, the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was a mere 25-years-old. Today, it’s 60.
- The condition leads to impaired cognitive ability and physical growth.
- Each person with Down Syndrome is affected differently, but most will have a number of physical characteristics and developmental problems. Many have a small nose and mouth, eyes that slant upwards and outwards, broad hands with short fingers, and below-average weight and length at birth.
- All children with Down Syndrome will have a level of learning disability and delayed development, and 1 in 10 children will also experience additional difficulties such as autism spectrum disorder or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- The likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases with maternal age, however, 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age because this age group gives birth most frequently.
- While behavior, mental ability, and physical development varies from person to person, many individuals with this disorder grow up to hold jobs, live independently, and enjoy normal recreational activities.
- From birth to age three, they take advantage of early intervention therapies, like physical, occupational, speech and developmental therapy.
- Individuals with this disorder are more like you, than different.
How Can You Join In On Raising Awareness?
To raise awareness, wear colourful socks today. You could even mismatch them. The aim behind the campaign is to get people asking about your socks, so you can take the opportunity to tell them about World Down Syndrome Day.