Tuesday, March 21, 2017 marks the 12th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. Down Syndrome effects 1 in every 691 babies born in the U.S. which calculates to about 6,000 babies per year. It is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Here are some more facts about Down Syndrome:
- Down Syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial copy of chromosome 21. The additional genetic material causes the characteristics associated with Down Syndrome.
- There are currently 400,000 current U.S. residents with Down Syndrome.
- It occurs in all races and economic levels.
- The chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome increases with the age of the mother. However, due to the higher rate of fertility at younger ages, most Down Syndrome individuals were born to mothers under the age of 35.
- While having Down Syndrome increases the liklihood of having certain medical conditions, the advances in medical technology allow for treatment of the conditions allowing Down Syndrome individuals to live healthy lives.
- Certain traits are common with Down Syndrome, such as: low muscle tone, a deep crease in the palm of the hand, slanted eyes, and small stature. Some of these and other physical traits may be very pronounced while others are nonexistant. No two individuals are alike, and no two cases of Down Syndrome are alike.
- Back in 1963, the life expectancy of someone with Down Syndrome was approximately 25 years old. It has increased drastically to around 60 years old today!
- People with Down Syndrome can lead active and productive lives. You will see many of them excelling in school, working normal jobs, having relationships and contributing to society.
- Things that help an individual with Down Syndrome succeed in life include: a quality educational program, healthy and stimulating home environment, and positive support from family, friends and the community.
We are fortunate to have a very special Down Syndrome child in our lives. Brenda Yates (owner of The Selling Rocky Mountain Homes Team) is currently raising 17 year old, Matthew Yates. Born in New Jersey in August of 1999, Matthew was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. He has led a normal life, if you call being the son of an airline pilot and getting to travel the world normal! He moved to Colorado as a young boy and began attending Cherry Creek Schools. The programs offered at Cherry Creek have been instrumental in Matthew’s development. While life hasn’t always been a piece of cake, the blessings that have come from the difficulties that Matthew has faced have shaped him in to the young man he is today.
Matthew most recently worked at King Soopers as a courtesy clerk. He received such joy from helping other people which made this the perfect job for him! He always looked forward to each day of work and is learning the value of a dollar. Gary and Brenda are very proud of the progress that he is making. As he prepares for his senior year in high school, they can see the benefits of the hard work they have put in over the years. They see a bright future in store for Matthew.
Do you have a special someone in your life that is living and thriving with Down Syndrome? If so, we would love to hear about them! Tell us who you are celebrating on World Down Syndrome Day in the comment section below. Then go give them a great big hug and enjoy the day with them!
Sources: worlddownsyndromeday.org; ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Down-Syndrome-Facts/