- There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
- Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
- Down syndrome happens at conception, is usually not hereditary and has nothing to do with environmental factors or parents' activities before or during pregnancy.
- The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
- People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
- People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, contribute to society in many wonderful ways, they have different personalities just like other people-they can be happy, sad or mad, hence they're not "always happy."
Please refer to a person with Down syndrome as the person first and then the condition. So...Anthony has Down syndrome or Anthony is a baby with Down syndrome, NOT Anthony is a Down's baby or a Down syndrome baby.
One other thing- please refer to kids that don't have Down syndrome as “typical” kids, NOT “normal” kids because this then implies that Anthony is abnormal. He’s not- although his Mom and Dad certainly are!
And last but certainly not least: Please, please, please take the word retard or retarded OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY!! This word is so hurtful and offensive I cannot even tell you how it burns me up. Please discourage your older children that you may hear use it-they have no idea that it can be so hurtful.