Down’s Syndrome- Urban Legends
1. Down’s Syndrome is a rare disease. This is not true. Trisomy 21, the genetic defect that leads to Down’s Syndrome is the most common genetic disorder. 1 in 700 births is a Down’s Syndrome child.
2. People with Down’s Syndrome are unable to function due to mental retardation. Most people with Down’s Syndrome have only mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Many are able to go to school, to work, play sports, and participate in community activities as any other person.
3. Most Down’s Syndrome children are born to older parents. This is a common myth. 80% of Down’s Syndrome children are born to mothers younger than 35. While it is true that the incidence of a Down’s Syndrome birth increases with age, the majority of Down’s Syndrome children are born to younger parents.
4. Down’s Syndrome children don’t live long. Overall, the life expectancy for Down’s Syndrome children has greatly improved with medical advances. However, there is a large racial divide in survival rates. By age 20, Blacks are more than 7 times as likely to die from Down’s Syndrome complications than other groups. Each prescription for glasses is different. Some glasses may need to be worn consistently, while others may only need to be worn at specified times like reading. Be sure to have a clear understanding of the prescription when you receive it. Always follow the direction of the optometrist or ophthalmologist that prescribed the glasses so they are being used correctly.
5. Down’s Syndrome children must be in special education programs. This is not true. The goal of most school systems across this country is inclusion and integration. While there are some children that will need special education classes, there are many Down’s Syndrome children that are integrated in the standard classroom setting and go on to graduate from high school, and college.
6. There is no hope for a cure for Down’s Syndrome. Research continues for identifying the genes that may lead to Down’s Syndrome. The hope is that Down’s Syndrome can be prevented in the future.