Today was chosen as a symbolic day to represent the Down Syndrome. Taking place on the 21st day of the 3rd month, it represents the triplication of the 21st chromosome. Today was meant as a day for people all around the world to learn about this connecting disorder. Down syndrome has been present in all cultures and societies around the world for millennia.
The goal of having this awareness day every year is to bring about a change be fully and equally included in society for everyone that is affected by Down Syndrome. Not all governmental bodies recognize the needs or help that those affected may need. Several key areas that people around the world are trying to change through advocacy are “health, education, work and employment, standard and choice of living accommodation, participation in political, public and cultural life and access to justice and recognition before the law.”
It is estimation of incidence is about 1 in every 700 births world wide. Approximately 6,000 babies are born that are affected by this chromosome disorder in the United States. About a quarter of a million families in the US that are affected by Down Syndrome.
The CDC and WHO have recognized that are several illnesses or health problems that are more likely to occur in someone that has Down Syndrome.
- Hearing loss (up to 75% of people with Down syndrome may be affected)
- Obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition where the person’s breathing temporarily stops while asleep (between 50 -75%)
- Ear infections (between 50 -70%)
- Eye diseases (up to 60%), like cataracts and eye issues requiring glasses
- Heart defects present at birth (50%)
There are several tests that are available to detect if a child has Down syndrome before birth and directly after birth. While there is no treatment available, there are certain therapies and groups that work towards helping affected people move to their full intellectual and physical capabilities.