11 Facts About Down Syndrome

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  1. Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic condition where a person is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material changes the course of development and causes the characteristics we have associated with Down Syndrome.
  2. The exact cause of the extra chromosome that triggers Down syndrome is unknown.
  3. One in every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition.
  4. There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the U.S.
  5. In 1983, the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was a mere 25-years-old. Today, it’s 60.
  6. Children and adults with Down syndrome share some common features, but naturally the individuals will more closely resemble their immediate family members.
  7. Since the 1970s, public schools are required by law to provide a free and appropriate education to children with Down syndrome.
  8. It is estimated that 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome in the U.S. alone.
  9. Roughly 25 percent of families in the U.S. are affected by Down syndrome.
  10. The likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases with maternal age, however, 80 percent of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age because this age group gives birth most frequently.
  11. While behavior, mental ability, and physical development varies from person to person, many individuals with Down syndrome grow up to hold jobs, live independently, and enjoy normal recreational activities.

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Sources: Global Down Syndrome, NDSS, NDSC Center