Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Miles Riding his Doona Liki Trike
October is one of my favorite months of the year. Not just because the temperatures cool down and I am able to wear sweaters again, but because it’s a month that brings so much awareness and education to so many important issues. October has awareness for breast cancer, mental health, pregnancy and infant loss, as well as one that is close to my heart: down syndrome. I didn’t even know that there was a month for Down Syndrome Awareness until my son Miles was born.
When I was just over 12 weeks pregnant, I found out that the baby I was carrying had a high chance of having Down Syndrome (DS). The rest of my pregnancy was heavy and hard for me. Looking back through most of my life, I realized I didn’t know a whole lot about the Down Syndrome community. This new opportunity gave me a reason to do more research, and I began advocating the worth of people who have Down Syndrome and chose to bring education and awareness through my own social media.
Here are some interesting facts about Down Syndrome
- Down Syndrome is named after Dr. John Langdon Down who wrote a paper describing the condition in the 1860s.
- There are 3 types of Down Syndrome. Trisomy 21 (the most common), Translocation, and Mosaicism.
- For a long time, people thought that babies with Down Syndrome were born to older mothers because the chances increase with age, but the data now shows that 80% of babies born with Down Syndrome were born to mothers who are under the age of 35.
- The life expectancy of people with Down Syndrome has increased substantially from 25 years in 1980 to about 60 years today.
- The exact cause of Down Syndrome is unknown.
- While mental and physical development may be delayed, many people with Down Syndrome go on to live independently and hold jobs.
A few ways to spread Down Syndrome awareness
- Bring books into your home that showcase characters who have Down Syndrome so you can talk with your kids about differences. I also think it would be amazing to get copies of inclusive books for your local library and your kids classrooms. ( Eli Included, No Such Thing as Normal)
- Donate money to causes that directly impact the Down Syndrome community. One of my favorites is Ruby Rainbow that provides scholarships for students with Down Syndrome.
- Watch Peanut Butter Falcon (just because it's good!)