In recognition of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, we are examining some of the myths that still surround this condition today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one out of every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is caused by an extra copy of Chromosome 21, which alters how a child’s brain and body develop.
Unfortunately, even with all of the research and education available, there are still many myths about Down syndrome that persist.
Myth: Down syndrome only occurs in children born to older parents.
Fact: Children can be born with Down syndrome regardless of the age of their parents. While it is true that women over age 35 are at greater risk of having a child with this condition, younger women typically have more children, so there are many young parents who have children with Down syndrome.
Myth: Down syndrome runs in families.
Fact: Only one of the three types of Down syndrome is hereditary. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, only about one percent of all cases are due to heredity.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome are either stubborn or always happy.
Fact: These children feel and express a range of emotions just like any other children. Sometimes they have more difficulty expressing themselves or adjusting to changes in activity or routine, which can be perceived as stubbornness.
Myth: All children with Down syndrome are alike.
Fact: While they do often share similar physical features such as almond-shaped eyes, short stature, small hands and feet, a flat face and poor muscle tone, they are just as unique as any other child is and have their own personalities too. One child with Down syndrome does not represent all children with Down syndrome.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome have severe cognitive issues.
Fact: The level of cognitive issues depends on the child. With the right strategies and support, children with Down syndrome are very capable of learning and can grow up to live fairly independently and hold down rewarding jobs.
Down syndrome does not have to limit your child’s future or potential. Fill out our client intake form and learn more about how PediaPlex can help your child grow and learn more effectively.
What do you wish others knew about children with Down syndrome? Share with us on Facebook!