Information About Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is a genetic condition occurring when a baby is born with three copies of chromosome 21 rather than the usual two. Because there are three copies of chromosome 21, down syndrome is also known as trisomy 21. This additional genetic material causes the characteristics associated with down syndrome
There are over 400,000 people living in the United States with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormality and is seen once in every 733 live births.
Although the incidence of Down syndrome increases with maternal age, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35. This is because more women under the age of 35 are having babies compared to women over the age of 35.
The extra 21 st chromosome causes children with Down syndrome to be at an increased risk for certain medical conditions, share similar physical features and results in some degree of cognitive delay. It is important to remember that every child with Down syndrome is unique and may have many or few of the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
People with Down syndrome want to be accepted and included. They have goals and dreams and want to be provided with choices and opportunities. People with Down syndrome are active in their communities, schools and jobs.
Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.
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