Down Syndrome

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Did you know that … • Babies and children with Down syndrome behave very much like other babies and children. • Babies and children with Down syndrome progress through the same mile stones and sequence of development like other babies and children, they just do this at a slower rate. • Babies and children with Down syndrome do lots of things that other babies and children do, they sometimes do them a little later. • Babies and children with Down syndrome are actively involved in successful education programs. These include early intervention programs, local playgroups, childcare centres, regular kindergarten, regular school and special school programs. • All children with Down syndrome can be educated. Most learn to read and write, and are therefore able to lead more fulfilling and independent lives. • Many young people with Down syndrome attend colleges. • Open employment is now a reality for people with Down syndrome thanks to the support and encouragement of both large corporations and small business. • Most young adults and adults with Down syndrome can live and work independently with some support from the community. • Some people with Down syndrome have married. • Down syndrome does not exclude people from participating in a wide range of leisure and social activities such as athletics, swimming, basketball, gymnasium, fishing, bike riding, dancing, art and craft, water skiing, cricket, netball, cooking, using computers, travel, playing instruments, going to movies.

People with Down syndrome have the same physical and emotional needs as everyone else. • People with Down syndrome know that they are different. Aren’t we all? It’s really O.K. to be different. We all need to know and feel this. • People with Down syndrome need to recognize their own worth and have that worth recognized by others, just like everyone else. • People with Down syndrome need to develop their own self-confidence and self esteem, like everyone else. • Each person with Down syndrome is unique, with his/her own personality, talents, abilities, thoughts and interests. The range of achievements in all areas also varies with each individual, just like everyone else. • Generally people with a disability are the same as everyone else. • Around one in every 1000 babies born will have Down’s syndrome. • Although the chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome is higher for older mothers, more babies with Down’s syndrome are born to younger women. • Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. It occurs by chance at conception and is irreversible. • Down’s syndrome is not a disease. People with Down’s syndrome are not ill and do not ?suffer? from the condition. • All people with the syndrome will have a varying degree of learning difficulty. However, the majority of people with Down's syndrome will walk and talk and many will read and write, go to ordinary schools and lead fulfilling, semi-independent lives. • Today, with the right support, people with Down's syndrome can enjoy a life of sixty years plus