October is National Down syndrome Awareness month. In celebration, I thought I’d take a moment and share with you what I know about Down syndrome.
Having a child with Down syndrome is a blessing.
Having two children with Down syndrome is an even greater blessing.
Having Down syndrome does not define a person.
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
Approximately 90% of pregnancies are terminated after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is made.
Most importantly, this is what I know about Down syndrome…
Having children with Down syndrome means we laugh a lot, move a little slower, always stop to smell the flowers, dance whenever we hear music and give lots of hugs. It means that we face challenges. It means that the magic of Disney World will never grow old and that Christmas morning will always be exciting. It means that our typically developing daughters are extra special. And it means that we, as parents, become advocates, so that one day, when we leave this earth, society will continue to accept, include and respect our children even when our voices can no longer be heard.