There is so much information on Down syndrome and I don't want to overwhelm (okay... bore you) so, I'm just going to highlight what I feel is important to know.
Here is a list of terms that are no longer used when referring to a person with Ds:
- Down syndrome child
- Down's/Downs baby
- Downsy (ugh... I hate that one).
- He/she suffers from Down syndrome or is afflicted by Down syndrome (It is a diagnosis not a disease, people do not suffer from Ds).
- Mental retardation (although medically acceptable, it's social unacceptable)
- And of course... retard
List of terms that are used when referring to a person with Ds:
- A person with Down syndrome
- cognitive disability
- cognitive impairment
- intellectual impairment
- intellectual disability
- developmental delay
These terms can be found on the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress website.
The following statistics are from a study conducted by three physicians from Children's Hospital of Boston which was published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics
Here are the findings from the first study which surveyed the parents and guardians of people with Down syndrome:
- 99 percent of parent/guardians said they loved their child with Down syndrome
- 79 percent felt their outlook on life was more positive because of their child
- 5 percent felt embarrassed by their child
- 4 percent regretted having their child
- 94 percent expressed feelings of pride about their sibling
- 7 percent felt embarrassed by their sibling
- 4 percent would “trade their sibling in” for another
- 88 percent said they felt they were better people because of their sibling with Down syndrome
- 97 percent said they loved their sibling
- 90 percent felt their friends are comfortable around their siblings
- 99 percent said they were happy with their lives
- 97 percent liked who they are
- 96 percent liked how they look
- 86 percent indicated they could make friends easily
- 4 percent expressed sadness about their life.
- 80% of all Down syndrome babies are born to women under 35
- One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
- 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.
- Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
- All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.
LASTLY... There is a booklet called "Your Loved One is having a Baby with Down Syndrome." It is from the Down Syndrome Pregnancy website. It's a quick read, packed with useful information. It will only take 10 minutes to read and I implore you to read it.
Booklet for Family and Friends
Thanks for reading!