Down syndrome is a congenital condition resulting from a chromosomal defect - an extra 21st chromosome. It causes varying degrees of mental and physical abnormalities, including small stature, a single crease across the center of the palms, flatness of the back of the head, a configuration of the tongue that impedes articulation, and a slight upward slant of the eyes.
5,000 babies are born with Down Syndrome each year; that is 1 for every 1,000 births.
Today, science enables the choice of killing children with Down syndrome before birth. That is what happens to 90% of those whose parents have prenatal testing.
400,000 Americans have Down Syndrome. Their life expectancy is 56 years; however, some live to about age 70.
Children with Down Syndrome can live fulfilling lives and be important contributors in our society. They have no choice but to be trusting of others and depend on their kindness, and they almost always receive it.
The life expectancy of a child born in 1970 with Down Syndrome was about 20 years. Today (2013), the life expectancy is 60 years. Today, 400,000 Americans with Down Syndrome are living richer, fuller, longer lives.
What You Can Do
When a baby with a disability is born, parents are anxious and fearful. Families and friends should offer caring support.
Offer to learn to assist a disabled child so that you may provide respite relief for the challenged parent.
Born This Way. View episodes of a reality show which follows a group of 7 young adults born with Down Syndrome, as they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, personal and professional success.