World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21 each year to raise awareness of Down syndrome and advocate for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with the condition. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects people of all races, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Most people have 46 chromosomes in all their cells, but people with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes and therefore look and learn differently.
Characteristics in Individuals with Down syndrome:
Individuals with Down syndrome have varying degrees of cognitive impairment from very mild to severe, decreased muscle tone, a small nose and flat nasal bridge, eyes that are slanted up, ears that are irregularly shaped, the ability to extend joints further than normal, wide space between the large toe and its near finger, tongue large in relation to the mouth. Children with Down syndrome may have various abnormalities such as congenital heart disease, hearing loss, eye problems.
Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic backgrounds. A baby with Down syndrome can be born to a mother at any age, although the risk of Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age. A 35-year-old woman has about a one in 350 chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome, and the chance increases to 1 in 100 by age 40.
WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY HISTORY
Since 2006, Down Syndrome International has been promoting World Down Syndrome Day to encourage people with Down syndrome to raise awareness of the condition. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011. Every year the organization comes up with a theme.
World Down Syndrome Day is an occasion to celebrate the diversity of people, regardless of their condition. It is an opportunity to raise awareness for people with Down syndrome in their daily lives. Remember that people with Down syndrome have the right to education, work, health care and social integration and that they can make a valuable contribution to society.
Healthcare for Down Syndrome
People with Down syndrome demand a different approach to care. Medical care includes managing various mental and physical conditions that may develop as a result of the genetic disease. Regular checkups and monitoring are key to managing these conditions and preventing further complications.
The Theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2023 is “With Us Not for Us”.