Down Syndrome – Myths & Facts

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Down syndrome is not an illness- it’s a life with more smiles, energy, love, miracles, blessings & many more…

What is Down syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is a congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile.

It can be detected through a series of screenings and tests; before or after a baby is born.

Today there are still many misconceptions about Down syndrome and those who have it. According to the guidelines of NDSS; to dispel some of the common myths about Down syndrome we hereby, describing it as follows.

Myth: Down syndrome is a rare disorder.
Fact: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.

Myth: Down syndrome is hereditary and runs in families.
Fact: Translocation, a type of Down syndrome that accounts for 3 to 4% of all cases, is the only type of Down syndrome known to have a hereditary component.

Myth: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.
Fact: Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old simply because younger women have more children. However, the likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother, especially after age 35.

Myth: All people with Down syndrome have a severe cognitive disability.
Fact: Most people with Down syndrome have a mild to moderate cognitive disability, or intellectual disability.

Myth: People with Down syndrome are always sick.
Fact: Though people with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, and thyroid conditions, advances in health care and treatment of these conditions have allowed for most individuals with Down syndrome to lead healthy lives.

Myth:  Segregated special education programs are the only option for students with Down syndrome.
Fact: Students with Down syndrome are included in typical academic classrooms in schools across the country.

Myth: People with Down syndrome are always happy.
Fact: People with Down syndrome have feelings just like anyone else. They experience the full range of emotions.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are the same as children with Down syndrome.
Fact: Adults with Down syndrome are not children, and should not be considered children.  They enjoy activities and companionship with other adults, and have similar needs and feelings as their typical peers.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal relationships leading to marriage.
Fact: People with Down syndrome socialize and have meaningful friendships. Some choose to date, maintain ongoing relationships and marry.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are unemployable.
Fact: Businesses employ adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions – in banks, corporations, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, offices and restaurants. They work in the music and entertainment industry, in clerical positions, childcare, the sports field and the computer industry. Like anybody else, people with Down syndrome want to have a job where their work will be valued.

Myth: It is ok to use the “retarded-word” if you don’t really mean it.
Fact: It is never acceptable to use the word “retarded” in any derogatory context. Using this word is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are not competent.

NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities.

Source: National Down’s syndrome Society