Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month! For fun, I've compiled some facts about Down syndrome to pair with the letters in my son's name...
Babies with Down Syndrome make up about 1 in 691 live births in the United States.
English physician John Langdon Down first published a description of a person with Down syndrome.
Nondisjunction is the most common cause of Down syndrome and occurs prior to or at conception when a pair of the 21st chromosome in the egg or the sperm do not separate properly. The extra chromosome then replicates in every cell of the body.
Just like everyone else, people with Down syndrome experience a full range of emotions. They are not "always happy."
"A child with Down syndrome" is good people first language as opposed to saying "a Down syndrome child." Remember, they are more like other children than they are different, and their diagnosis in no way defines their personhood!
Medical terminology for Down syndrome caused by nondisjunction is Trisomy 21, referring to the presence of the extra 21st chromosome.
Intellectual and developmental delays affect people with Down syndrome and are usually present in the mild to moderate range. With early intervention services and lots of love and support from family and friends, children with Down syndrome can meet most, if not all, of their developmental milestones. They possess a wide variety of interests, talents, and skills and can be positive and contributing members of society.
New advances in medical knowledge and care have greatly increased the life expectancy for people with Down syndrome over the last few decades. In 1983, the average life expectancy was 25; today it is 60!
These are some facts about Down syndrome, but the fact is, no list of facts can ever come close to describing the individual beauty and complexity of my sweet son. He is uniquely created in God's image, full of life and love and promise. I am proud to be his Mommy!