Today is World Down Syndrome Day. I’ve been so lucky to know & become friends with so many brilliant people with Down syndrome, including my Uncle Matthew, one of the most beautiful (& hilarious) people I’ve ever known.
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction)
accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4% and
mosaicism accounts for about 1%.
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.
One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases
with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger
women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35
years of age.
People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical
conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing
problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid
conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people
with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle
tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep
crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is
a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different
degrees or not at all.
Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
& if you’ve never seen this beautiful music video for Svefn-G-Englar by Sigur Ros, please do yourself a favor and watch it right now…