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5 Things you should know about Down Syndrome

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Today is World Down Syndrome Day, an international platform that has been established in order to help raise awareness of Down’s syndrome. Down Syndrome International (DSI), a UK based international charity aims to highlight what it means to have Down’s syndrome, and how people with it play a vital role in our lives and communities. Unfortunately, there’s very little awareness about Down syndrome among the general population.

Today, we’ve shared the 5 facts that may help you understand this condition better.

  • Down syndrome is caused by an extra set of chromosome number 21. Every cell in the body has 23 pairs of chromosomes, one from each parent, but Down Syndrome occurs when one parent contributes extra genetic material.
  • Older mothers have a higher chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. Expecting mothers who already have kids who with Down syndrome are also at higher risk of giving birth to a baby of the same condition
  • While the life expectancy of people with the condition was 25 years back in the day but with advancements in medicine and healthcare, the average life expectancy has now risen up to 60 years.
  • Some of the effects of Down’s syndrome include low muscle tone and joints, congenital effects in the heart and brain, slow physical growth, distinctive facial features like slanting eyes and cognitive delays. However, with proper support and advanced medical care you can enable a good quality of life for Down’s children.
  • While there may be varying levels of behaviour, mental ability, and physical development among different individuals with Down syndrome, many grow up to lead an independent and full life.

Each year there are more and more people with Down’s syndrome speaking out about their experience and it is our responsibility to listen to them. There’s a lot that we can do to improve acceptance, friendship, inclusion and respect for Down’s people. Talking about Down’s syndrome on social media to help raise awareness in your community and actively working towards a more inclusive community are just the beginning.

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