07 Oct 6 Unknown Facts About Down Syndrome
As a health practitioner, it’s my goal to bring awareness to often misunderstood disabilities and health issues that affect our nation. This month is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the most common chromosomal condition which affects 6,000 babies each year.
The prevalence of Down Syndrome is a genetic condition where a person is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 and is associated with delays in the physical growth, characteristic facial features and intellectual disability. While the disability can cause other health issues, most children born with Down Syndrome go on to live healthy and happy, long lives.
In this article, I share 6 important facts about Down Syndrome in an attempt to inspire you to learn more about the topic.
- One in every 691 babies are born each year with Down Syndrome and over 400,000 people are living with the condition in the US, making it the most common chromosomal condition.
- The likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome increases based on the mother’s age.
- The need for glasses is much more common in children with Down Syndrome due to a refractive error like farsightedness, astigmatism or nearsightedness.
- While behavior, mental ability and physical development vary from person to person, many people with Down Syndrome grow up to work in regular employment, live independently and enjoy a “normal” life.
- Children with Down Syndrome are often taught sign language due to their delayed response in speech production, allowing them to learn how to express themselves and communicate much quicker.
- The average lifespan of a person with Down Syndrome is 60 and many of these people complete high school, go onto college and have successful careers. There’s an increasing number of colleges and universities across the world that are designing programs specifically for differently-abled students.
You can read more about Down Syndrome here.