Down syndrome, a condition that affects 1 in 700 babies born each year in the United States, and more than 300,000 children, teens and adults who live with it daily, is often misunderstood. Among the misconceptions are that people with Down syndrome cannot lead full lives, which include having strong, loving relationships, receiving an education, engaging in satisfying work, living on their own and experiencing relatively good health. Largely, none of these misconceptions are true.
24/7 Tempo reviewed information provided by organizations like the National Down Syndrome Society and the Centers for Disease Control to identify some of these misconceptions and understand the truth behind them.
Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder in the country. Specifically, it means that the child has an extra copy of chromosome 21, which leads to some physical and mental abnormalities. While Down syndrome cannot be prevented, pregnant women can be screened for the condition in their unborn child to determine whether the condition exists. While this is not a necessary test,, here are some other medical tests every woman should have and when.
People with Down syndrome can have such physical and mental challenges as loose joints and low muscle tone that can make activity more difficult and sometimes painful, and an IQ lower than the population at large. But these challenges can be met by receiving support from their parents and loved ones, regular help from the appropriate medical professionals starting at a young age, as well as through extra attention from teachers and counselors. With this help, they can and often do enjoy rewarding lives and can enhance the lives of those around them.