Friday, October 5, 2012

Factoid Friday: Fast Facts on Down syndrome (Revisited) (31 for 21, Day 5)

Many people seem to be pretty foggy as to what Down syndrome actually is.  Most people expect severe developmental delays, a short life span and an inability to live independently.   As few as 40 years ago, this could have been the case.  However, if there is one thing you should understand about DS, not being "neurotypical" often means breaking the stereotypes.  For today's Factoid Friday, we are revisiting our fast facts on Down syndrome that I published on March 21 for World Down syndrome Day. 

What is Down Syndrome?

Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an accident in cell division.  This causes the creation of an extra copy of the 21st chromosome.  There are three different types of Down Syndrome:

Trisomy 21, where there is simply an extra copy of the 21st Chromosome.

Mosaic Down Syndrome where the creation of the extra chromosome happens later, causing some cells in the body to have it and others not.

Translocation, where a piece of the 21st chromosome breaks off and attaches itself to another (usually the 14th) which causes the same symptoms.

The extra genetic material can express itself in a variety of ways, including the stereotypical facial features and heart issues that many individuals experience.

Fast Facts about Down Syndrome:

  • Occurs in Approximately 1:700 births and is the most common chromosomal disorder.
  • Is independent of race, religion, creed, colour, socioeconomic status or nationality
  • Occurs independently of any maternal or paternal activity prior to conception and pregnancy
  • Maternal age can be a factor, although 80% of children with Trisomy 21 are born to woman under 35.  
  • Can have medical issues; varies from individual to individual.  Most conditions occur in general population as well;  all are treatable.

  • 99% said they loved their son or daughter
  • 97% of parents said they were proud of their son or daughter, 94% of siblings reported being proud of their brother or sister with DS
  • 79% said their lives were made more positive by their son or daughter with DS
  • 88% of siblings felt that they were better people because of their younger sibling with DS

People with Down Syndrome:

  • Attend school, even post secondary
  • Participate in the major decisions that affect their lives
  • Contribute to society in meaningful and productive ways
  • Flourish with a stimulating home environment, enriched educational programs, positive family support and good health care.
  • Have a life span that has increased from 12 in 1912 to now over 60.  
  • The oldest living person recorded with DS was 87.

...And that's the facts, Jack.  Happy Friday!

Don't forget to vote for Down Wit Dat on Circle of Moms. You can vote once a day, every day until October 11th!
Click here to vote for Down Wit Dat!!

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