Genes play a major on how a person looks like and functions. From hair colour to regulating the body’s organs, genes decide the qualities of an individual. Similarly, down syndrome is a recognised genetic condition where an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.
This special condition alters the course of development of the person. It is one of the most commonly occurring conditions among babies and to spread awareness about it each year World Down Syndrome day is recognized on 21st March. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t believe about down syndrome.
Down syndrome is often labeled as a rare disease which is a myth. In fact, it is a condition and not a disease. Each year approximately 23,000 to 29,000 babies are born with down syndrome in India. It is said to be the highest in the world.
Although people with down syndrome are born with health complications, it is completely false that their life span is always short. The life expectancy for individuals has witnessed an increment in recent years.
Down syndrome is often regarded as a hereditary disorder that can run in the family. The truth is it can only hereditary in approximately 1% of all cases. This doesn’t apply to all types. For the rest, this condition can occur randomly.
Another popular myth suggests that the increased age of the mother can cause children born with down syndrome. Down syndrome can affect babies born from mothers younger than 35 years as well.
People tend to believe that down syndrome patients cannot achieve normal life goals. However, this is completely false. People with down syndrome might not have the same rate of growth and development in their body, but with the right support, they can do any mainstream activity. They go to school, attend exams and even take up jobs like any other adult.
The mostly smiling face of the down support people is an amazing sight, but the myth says they are always happy and affectionate. Facts say they are no different from any other person with feelings and varying mood.
Despite so much of awareness people still believe the myth that all down syndrome people look alike. Although a person with the disorder can show certain special physical characteristics, it has been seen that the person effected by the syndrome always tend to look more like the parents than anyone else with the same condition.
Pooja Khanna, a mommy blogger based out of Mumbai shares her amazing journey with daughter, Norah through her Instagram, @pooja_and_norah. She talks about important issues and topics to spread awareness about down syndrome.
Pooja said, “ Inclusion begins at home. The moment people stop seeing the label, they open up doors for equal opportunities for the people with down syndrome.This extra chromosome brings joy and a whole new perspective on life. This joy overpowers their fears.”
Photo credit: Google