More on Down syndrome

by Barbara Curtis

  • Down syndrome is the most common genetic anomaly, occurring once in every 800 to 1,000 births.
  • Down syndrome is a genetic characteristic, like skin color and hair type. It is not caused by parental drug use, environmental conditions, or birth trauma.
  • 5,000 children with Down syndrome are born each year in the United States.
  • Although the incidence of Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age, 80 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to women under age 35.
  • Most people with Down syndrome have IQs in the mild to moderate range of retardation and are educable and employable.
  • Today most children with Down syndrome live at home with their families and are integrated into the education system — and more and more into the community.
  • Companies large and small — from Target and Kinko’s to your local bakery — have found employees with Down syndrome give a morale boost to the whole company.
  • There are waiting lists of families wishing to adopt children with Down syndrome.