Today is World Down Syndrome Day and this day is aimed at creating awareness about the people and families of those living with this genetic disorder and to advocate about their every right to be included in our society.

Down Syndrome or Down’s Syndrome is a genetic disorder that happens due to abnormal cell division resulting in an extra genetic from chromosome 21.

Thanks to medical advancements, these days doctors can diagnose if the foetus has Down Syndrome through blood tests and scans, within few months of pregnancy.

However, India still records a considerable number of Down Syndrome cases every year. This genetic disorder causes distinct facial appearance, learning disabilities and developmental delays in a child.

Unfortunately, many people tag Down Syndrome with other mental disorders but in reality, people with this condition can lead fairly normal lives, with the help of early medical intervention, therapies, special educators and support from the society.

The next time you see a child with a flat face, learning disability, treat him or her with empathy and be mindful of the following myths and facts during your interactions.

Myth:

Down Syndrome is rare

Fact:

It is one of the most common genetic disorders and India alone records around 32,000 cases every year. In the US, around 1 in 691 babies is born with down syndrome.

Myth:

People with Down Syndrome have shorter lifespan.

Fact:

Thanks to advanced medical care, therapies and help from special tutors the longevity of people living with down syndrome has increased considerably in the last one decade. According to recent data, the average lifespan is around 60 years.

Myth:

Down Syndrome is hereditary

Fact:

Down Syndrome happens randomly, and it is hereditary in less than 1% cases. The only known risk factor is the age of mother, above 35. It is called hereditary, if it happens due to translocation of the genes, which happens rarely.

Myth:

Down Syndrome kids cannot think and reason

Fact:

Not true. Their cognitive abilities may be a little delayed but people with down syndrome can participate, communicate in educational programs and interact well. An extra help from teachers, therapists helps them in discovering their fullest potential.

Myth:

People with Down Syndrome are always happy.

Fact:

Down Syndrome kids undergo a lot of emotions like all of us. They can easily recognize positive approach from others and resent inconsiderate and rude behavior. In fact, adults with down syndrome socialise happily, lead stronger, emotional relationships and also get married.

 

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