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What Is Down Syndrome

Happy baby in stroller smilingDown syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition in the United State and approximately one in every 700 babies or 6,000 babies a years are born with Down syndrome in the United States.

Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21 which alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess its characteristics to different degrees, such as low muscle tone, small stature and mild to moderate cognitive delays.

In today’s world, individuals with Down syndrome are becoming increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as school, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational activities. With recent advancements in clinical treatment, most particularly corrective heart surgeries, as many as 80% of adults with Down syndrome reach age 60 and many live even longer.

More and more Americans are interacting with individuals with Down syndrome, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance.