What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. It occurs in one in every 691 live births. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status. The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different.
For families living with someone with Down Syndrome, every day is a chance to promote Down syndrome awareness. The calendar, however, provides us with one month during the year when we can really step up those efforts.
How can you promote Down Syndrome Awareness?
- Distribute National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS) posters and bookmarks to area schools, libraries, or businesses (you can order them through the NADS office or the website: www.nads.org)
- Provide your obstetrician or your family doctor with updates about how your child is doing and, if they are receptive, with family photos or information about Down syndrome
- Donate books about Down syndrome to your local school or library
- Talk to your child’s class
- Arrange for a NADS speaker to give a presentation at your child’s school or at an organization in your community.
- Contact local media about doing a human interest story about your family or about activities involving people with Down syndrome in your area.
- Write a letter to your local paper
Organize a special event during October to highlight the gifts of people with Down syndrome—a performance, or an art exhibit or a screening of a movie or video featuring characters with Down syndrome (you could also show the NADS video, Talents that Inspire)
Organize a “Down Syndrome Awareness Day” at a local restaurant or community event.
The transition to adulthood can be a very difficult time for families living with a person with Down Syndrome. Planning for the future is a critical part of this transition. If you would like more information on estate planning for your family, give C.H. Edwards, Inc. a call at 516-249-5200 or visit our website at www.chedwards.net.
Written by: Denise Visco