World Down Syndrome Day And What It Is All About
World Down Syndrome Day was created to raise awareness about Down Syndrome. Friday, 21st of March is the 9th anniversary of this occasion. This cause was officially endorsed by the United Nations, in 2012. On this dedicated day, people with Down syndrome as well as those who interact with them on a daily basis throughout the world, organize and participate in activities and events purposed to raise public awareness of this condition, and also create a united global voice for advocating for the rights, acceptance and well being of people with Down syndrome.
What IS Down Syndrome?
Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder, that occurs, when nuclei in the cells of an individual contain a complete or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This condition results in cognitive and physical impairments, which may range from mild to severe.
Some Noticeable Effects May Include;
- Upward-slanted eyes
- Somewhat flattened profile, with broader than usual faces
- A single crease in the palms
Issues More Pressing In Nature May Include;
- Hypotonia (low muscle tone)
- Visual/auditory/vocal problems
- Heart defects
- Mental developmental delays
- Gastrointestinal defects
There is no determined cause of this condition primarily. However, researchers have established that a contributing factor may be the age of the mother- the older the mother, the higher the risk. There are diagnostic and screening tests that can be performed during or after pregnancy.
Progress For People Living With Down Syndrome
Great strides are being made in researching ways of prolonging the longevity of people with Down Syndrome. In the past, it was not uncommon for those with Down Syndrome to be much more susceptible to diseases. However, with drugs containing certain antibiotic properties, the immune system, for instance, is aided in fighting off infections and illness more effectively.
Society is becoming a lot more aware of the fact that, having Down Syndrome does not limit in any way a person’s right to be treated with equality and respect. Fairness in the rights to attain good jobs, and generally acceptance, not tolerance, are the qualities that are being fought for all over the world for those living with Down Syndrome.
Sources For Help
- International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association
Offers support and resources to families of and individuals with mosaic Down syndrome through the lifespan
- Medline Plus: Health Topics – Down Syndrome
An overview and list of resources on Down syndrome and prenatal testing from Medline Plus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health
- National Society of Genetic Counselors
Find members of NSGC through the Find A Genetic Counselor search function