It's October, which means here at Infinite Therapy Solutions, our community is celebrating National Down Syndrome Awareness Month! To help others learn more about people with Down syndrome, we're sharing a few interesting facts about this common condition.
7 Interesting Facts About Down Syndrome
1. Down syndrome is the most common type of chromosomal syndrome.
2. People with Down syndrome come from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.
We see people with Down syndrome from all walks of life, representing a diverse range of races and ethnicities.
3. Mothers who have children later in life are more likely to give birth to people with Down syndrome.
A 35-year-old mother has about a 1 in 350 chance of having a child with Down syndrome. By the time she is 40, her chances increase to about 1 in 100. At age 45, the likelihood is closer to 1 in 30. Because many couples are choosing to have families later in life, genetic counseling and advanced diagnostics are helpful so families and the community-at-large will be better equipped to care for children with Down syndrome. That said, most women who give birth to children with Down syndrome are younger than 35. This is because younger women have higher pregnancy rates overall.
4. There are actually three different types of Down syndrome.
The most common type, accounting for about 95% of all cases, is known as trisomy 21. This occurs during fetal development and causes an embryo to have three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of the typical two.
5. Down syndrome characteristics include cognitive and physical changes.
People with Down syndrome tend to have mild to moderate cognitive delays and distinctive physical features such as low muscle tone, short stature, small ears, and upturned eyes.
6. Down syndrome was first officially described in 1886.
In the late nineteenth century, English physician Dr. John Langdon Down was the first person to officially describe this syndrome. It wasn't until 1959 that Down syndrome was identified as a genetic condition, by French physician Dr. Jérôme Lejeune.
7. People with Down syndrome have a greater risk for certain medical conditions.
Having Down syndrome increases a person's risk for health issues such as congenital heart problems, speech problems, obesity, hearing loss, breathing difficulties, thyroid conditions, cataracts, ear infections, and Alzheimer’s disease. That said, people living with Down syndrome can go to school, get jobs, enjoy relationships, and be productive members of society. Advances in medical, therapeutic, and supportive care, plus greater awareness and understanding of Down syndrome, has helped increase the lifespan and quality of life of people living with this condition.
Our Takeaways: We Can Raise Awareness By Sharing Interesting Down Syndrome Facts
Every day around this country, people with Down syndrome are living fulfilling, productive, and meaningful lives. Thanks to continual advances in research and medical care, people are living longer with this and other kinds of chromosomal conditions. Hopefully, you now know a few interesting Down syndrome facts so you can share with others and advocate for people with this condition! For instance, we've learned:
- Down syndrome is common (1 in every 700 births)
- Down syndrome affects people from all socioeconomic backgrounds and races
- Down syndrome comes with some unique physical and intellectual characteristics, although people with Down syndrome have individual personalities, challenges, and abilities
- Parents of all ages can have children with Down syndrome
- Having Down syndrome increases the risk for other medical conditions, but many of these conditions can be managed through adequate medical care and therapy
- People with Down syndrome are living alongside us in our communities—working, going to school, raising families, and living longer lives than ever before!
Do You Have a Child Living with Down Syndrome? Contact Our Pediatric Therapy Clinic in Hudson County
Infinite Therapy Solutions is an area-leader in pediatric therapy serving children and their parents in Hudson County. Our multidisciplinary team has over 20 years of experience combined! We offer speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy for kids and teens with a variety of conditions, including Down syndrome. To schedule an appointment for your child, contact us today at 201-455-3144. Join our pediatric therapy team in Hudson County NJ by sharing this blog post to honor and learn about people with Down syndrome this October!