Down syndrome occurs across the human spectrum and is the most common chromosomal condition. Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome — a 1 in 700 chance. The prevalence of Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age. It is associated with delays in physical growth, characteristic facial features and intellectual disability. In fact, the average IQ of an adult with Down syndrome is equivalent to that of an 8-year-old.
These are just facts, and like all facts, they can fail to provide a full picture. The truth is that children born with Down syndrome can absolutely go on to live happy and long lives. And with Down Syndrome Awareness Month every October, we can be inspired to learn more about this topic and to celebrate people born with Down syndrome and the medical advancements that increasingly improve their quality of life.
Down Syndrome is one of the most common disorders but also one of the most misunderstood. With one in 800 children being born with Down Syndrome each year, many outside of those statistics cannot comprehend what it is like to have a child with the disorder or be a person with it. That’s why Down Syndrome Awareness Month is here to change that.
History of Down Syndrome Awareness Day
Down Syndrome Awareness Month is all about helping people understand what Down Syndrome is and how people with Down Syndrome experience the world. According to the main website, this month celebration is about teaching people that perceive Down Syndrome as a disability that it is not what defines them as people. Since the late 90’s, people have been spreading advocacy, awareness and inclusion through events all over the United States. Because Down Syndrome is one of the most common disabilities, many who don’t know what it is like only see them for what disability they have. With this holiday, it is about changing that for the better.
Organizations such as Ups with Downs and the National Association for Down Syndrome have been advocating this holiday as a way to teach people about Down Syndrome and tell stories of people all over the world what their experiences are. Each of these organizations help raise money for education programs, hoping to create a positive impact with each event. Down Syndrome, while it can be misunderstood, can create change when people know what it is and know how to interact. Thus, this holiday aims to change the way people view those with Down Syndrome by changing the bias of what a mental/genetic disability is.
How to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Day
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate this month long holiday, start by making a donation to your local or national Down Syndrome Awareness organization and taking part in one of their events. You can also look up on their website and listen to people’s stories, read articles about Down Syndrome, and see how you personally can get involved in the organization. Share this holiday on your favorite social media website by using the hashtag #downsyndromeawarenessmonth and let everyone know what day it is today.