Facts About Down Syndrome
- Down syndrome occurs when some or all of a person’s cells have an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.
- Down syndrome is a genetic condition, not a disease
- Down syndrome is named after the British physician John Langdon Down, who classified the chromosomal abnormality in 1862.
- One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.
- There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
- Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
- The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
- Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
- People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
- People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first. We say a child with Down syndrome, not a Down syndrome child. Also avoid saying a Down’s person or she has Down’s
- People have Down syndrome; they do not suffer from Down syndrome
- People with Down syndrome have developmental delays, as opposed to typical (not normal) children
- Intellectual disability or cognitive disability has replaced mental retardation
- The use of the word retarded is extremely hurtful to the families of people with Down syndrome
Fact Sheet and Language Guide
Hoja de datos sobre el síndrome de Down
Adults with Down Syndrome Have Answers