21 Misconceptions About Down Syndrome That Need Correcting

Source: nd3000 / Getty Images

16. Down syndrome is hereditary

Most cases of Down syndrome aren’t hereditary. In some cases, however, a child can inherit the condition from a parent who carries a certain rearrangement of genetic material called a balanced translocation. In the child, the arrangement can become unbalanced, leading to extra genetic material and Down syndrome.

Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

17. People with Down syndrome can’t have a successful career

That is not true. Those with Down syndrome have thrived in a number of jobs, including working outdoors with their hands, attending a front desk at an office, and working as a barista in a coffee shop.

Source: monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

18. People with Down syndrome can’t have romantic relationships

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Some people with Down syndrome form romantic ties and marry.

Source: monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

19. People with Down syndrome can’t read or write

Although people with Down syndrome typically have a lower IQ than the population at large, they are able to learn to read and write and master other skills.

Source: FotoDuets / Getty Images

20. People who have Down syndrome cannot have children

About half the women with Down syndrome are fertile, but that number is lower among men with the condition. Despite the lower fertility, men and women with Down syndrome conceive children. Experts recommend that couples with Down syndrome use contraceptives unless they have decided to try to have children. Parents with Down syndrome have a 30% to 55% chance of having a child with the condition.