People with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome (number 21). Because of this they have some characteristic features in their appearance. They also learn and develop in a particular way. However, babies with Down Syndrome are babies first, with the same needs for love, attention and fun as any other baby. All children with Down Syndrome are individuals, each with their own unique characters and abilities.
Although all children will have some degree of learning disability, much can be done to help your child reach their potential. Most children with Down Syndrome will learn to read and write and go to a local mainstream school like other children in your area. They will also take part in many other activities that are on offer to all children. Life should be as broad and fun packed as that of any other child.
Some children with Down Syndrome will have associated medical conditions, however these are usually treatable and do not occur in all children. Most children go on to live long and healthy lives.
Most adults with Down syndrome now go on to lead fulfilled and independent lives with a little support. Many go to college, have jobs, enjoy close relationships and sometimes marry.
Each year on the 21st of March we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. People with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome (they have 3 copies of chromosome 21 - hence 21/3, 21st March!) and to support World Down Syndrome day the "Lots of Socks" fundraising campaign is a worldwide campaign run by Down Syndrome International.
Why Lots of Socks?
This is a picture of chromosomes which some say look a little bit like pairs of socks. Sometimes people have an extra ‘sock’ or chromosome and a person with Down syndrome has an extra copy of chromosome 21 as you can see in the picture. That’s ok – it just means that some things a little harder for them. They are a little different but different is ok. People with Down syndrome learn, laugh, love, live and, just like the rest of us, sometimes also get cross, sad, dislike things, get uncomfortable being stared at and just want to join in with everyone else. Where children with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to join in, all children benefit from this and environments of friendship, acceptance, respect for everyone and high expectations are created.
Inclusive environments also help to prepare all today’s children for life as tomorrow’s adults, enabling adults with Down syndrome to live, work and join-in, with confidence and independence, fully included in society alongside their friends and peers.
On World Down Syndrome Day, Monday 21 March 2016, join us to encourage children and adults with Down syndrome to say “My Friends, My Community” and get the world talking about the benefits for everyone of inclusive environments.
if you are a school download our school information sheet
Alternatively download our event information sheet to tell you more about this year's campaign.
This year in particular we are canvassing our MPs with an open,informed letter, expressing our views regarding the introduction of the new non invasive screening for Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome Awareness Week was 18th-24th March 2019. Find out about our celebrations by having a look here.
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