Blog Posts

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day 2020

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day 2020

It’s about nine years since the United Nations General Assembly declared March 21st of every year as World Syndrome Day, with effect from 2012, and invites all Member States, relevant organisations of the United Nations system, and other international and non-governmental organisations, as well as the private sector, to raise public awareness for, and observe Down Syndrome day in an appropriate manner.

It is really an unpleasing thing for a child to be denied of his/her right even before birth. But as unpleasant as this may be, it is the reality of many children with Down syndrome. Research statistics have also revealed that the estimated incidence of Down syndrome to be between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 1100 live births globally.

The History

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which occurs when there are extra sets of chromosome 21 in an individual which alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with the syndrome.

The origin of Down syndrome is traced back to English physician, John Langdon Down, who was the first to identify the external appearance of the genetic disorder in 1862 while working with a group of patients. Until then, nobody had identified this special group and over the next 20 years, he referred to the genetic condition as Mongolism and used the word “Mongolian/Mongoloids” to describe those whom we would now call people with Down’s syndrome.

Later in 1961, nineteen international experts which included Down’s grandson, Norman came together and wrote to the Lancet proposing that the name should be changed to Down’s syndrome. The World Health Organisation (WHO), then at the request of the People’s Republic of Mongolia, accepted and adopted the recommendation in 1965, thereby giving Down syndrome a global awareness and recognition. Normansfield in Teddington, South West London became the home where Langdon and his family used to cater for the needs of people with Down syndrome and others with learning disabilities.

Down syndrome is categorized into three types which are Trisomy 21 (non-disjunction) accounting for 95% of cases, Translocation which accounts for about 4% of cases, and Mosaicism which accounts for about 1% cases and against popular opinion, Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.

The Myths and the Truths about Down Syndrome

There are many myths that exist today concerning Down syndrome and those living with it. Here are a few common myths and their opposing realties:

Myth 1: Down syndrome is hereditary

Reality: Only 1% of all cases of Down syndrome are hereditary against popular belief. Translocation, a type of Down syndrome which accounts for 3 to 4% of all cases, is the only type of Down syndrome known to have a hereditary component and only one-third of those succeed.

Myth 2: Down syndrome children are born to older parents

Reality: Research has shown that most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old. However, the likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome tend to increase with the age of the mother, especially after the age of 35.

Myth 3: People with Down syndrome have a severe mental disability

Reality: The majority of people with Down syndrome have a moderate cognitive or intellectual disability. This is not indicative of the length of time it might take a person having a disability to learn, speak or get things done.

Myth 4: Students with Down syndrome can only learn through segregated special education programs

Reality: The current trend in education for students with Down syndrome is for full inclusion in social and educational settings by including them in typical academic classrooms in schools across the country as every other students. However, they are sometimes included in special courses but the truth remains that individuals with Down syndrome get educated and graduate from high school with distinction and as well participate in other extra-curricular academic and college programs.

Myth 5: Individuals with Down syndrome are not socially active in the society

Reality: People with Down syndrome are not only active members of the society participating in educational, social, and recreational activities, but are also valued members of their families and communities who make significant contributions to the society. Importantly, they also take up job roles in different corporations such as banks, hotels, hospitals, and restaurants, and are also found working in the entertainment, sports and the ICT industry, to name a few.

Celebrating and caring for children with Down syndrome

Are you raising a child with Down syndrome or you live with/around one? Living with a child with disabilities can sometimes be hard, but sometimes it’s not and when you realize this, you realize it is true for all children. What every child needs is a true mother’s love, which is not based on a child’s ability, but on your own ability to accept and give love.

Down syndrome affects all people differently, and as a result, they all have their own unique needs. When a baby is newly born, their caregivers can’t know exactly how Down syndrome will affect them until they begin to grow and develop. This is when their caregivers begin to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and will ultimately be able to better meet and support their needs.

Children with Down syndrome have differing needs such as heart defects, vision differences, hearing loss, feeding difficulties, thyroid differences, autism, seizures, and learning challenges. However, these needs and challenges are to varying degrees. Some children tend to experience multiple health or developmental challenges, while others may have or experience them to a milder degree. What is important is that they are seen first as children and not as children with disabilities. They need what all babies and children need – love and support. 

It is therefore important to provide children with Down syndrome with an enriching and overwhelming love environment so they can grow to become significant adults in their communities, especially in this critical time when the world is faced with a viral epidemic in COVID-19. Be patient with them, encouraging and supporting them every step of the way. They are more like all of us than they are different. What makes them unique is about who they are as individuals, and not really about their diagnosis.  

We hereby encourage all our friends and partners all over the world to join us in raising awareness for what Down syndrome is really about, while we also create a unique voice for advocating rights, importance, inclusion and wellness of people with Down syndrome in our lives and in the society we live.

26 Comments

  • Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it! Ailene Darrel Jobe

  • I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. Odelinda Baron Bever

  • Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I?ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast. Trude Hilly Buerger

  • Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? Carin Orbadiah Koressa

  • It is a very good useful article I like to read such articles Nike Normie Trisha

  • This is actually fascinating, you are a really professional blogger. Jerrilyn Kermie Cornelia

  • Hello. fantastic job. I did not imagine this. This is a excellent story. Thanks! Ceil Peder Veleda

  • Very good post. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well.. Deny Norby Maryjane

  • I quite like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!| Bridgette Deane Moonier

  • pretty beneficial material, overall I feel this is really worth a bookmark, thanks Aurlie Griz Demetra

  • Hey there. I discovered your site by means of Google at the same time as searching for a similar topic, your web site got here up. It seems to be great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then. Jo Royce Orvan

  • Superb points totally, you may attained a brand brand new audience. Precisely what may perhaps anyone suggest regarding your posting you made a couple of days before? Virtually any particular? Merrilee Rriocard McMurry

  • I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website? Clarine Duky Esmeralda

  • Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? Cassie Aurthur Chirlin

    • Yes I won’t mind to.

  • If you are going for best contents like me, just visit this web site everyday as it offers quality contents, thanks Muffin Gardener Paxon

  • I feel that is one of the so much significant info for me. And i am happy studying your article. But should observation on few general things, The web site taste is great, the articles is truly excellent : D. Excellent job, cheers Leena Hilarius Whatley

  • Hello, I do think your site could be having browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent blog! Judye Berkie Whalen

    • Thank you for this information. I will work on it. Thank you

  • Excellent post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing. Magda Filmore Vaclava

  • Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it! Raquel Jamal Samau

  • Hi there colleagues, fastidious paragraph and nice urging commented at this place, I am in fact enjoying by these. Alica Redford Tabor

  • Hi there. I found your website by way of Google whilst searching for a related matter, your site got here up. It appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then. Francisca Iosep Zima

  • I think other website owners should take this web site as an example, very clean and superb user pleasant design and style. Deborah Fidel Sabba Trix Arnold Ursas

  • You made some nice points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most persons will go along with with your website. Zaria Staffard Ger Casandra Town Graig

  • Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for providing these details. Jasmine Travus Kopple

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *