Myth: Down syndrome is a rare genetic disorder.
Truth: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. One in every 691 births is a child with Down syndrome. There are currently 250,000 people in the U.S. with Down syndrome, with 5,000 births per year.
Myth: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.
Truth: Eighty percent of children born with Down syndrome are born to women younger than age 35 due to higher fertility rates. However, research has shown a link between the incidence of Down syndrome and maternal age.
Myth: Down syndrome is hereditary and runs in families.
Truth: Most cases of Down syndrome are sporadic, chance events. In general, Down syndrome does not run in families and a sibling or aunt has no greater chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome.
Myth: People with Down syndrome have severe cognitive delays.
Truth: Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate. IQ is not an adequate measure of the functional status of people with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome have great potential if given opportunities.
Myth: The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome is 30.
Truth: Thanks to advances in medical and clinical treatment and opportunities to thrive, as many as 80 percent of adults with Down syndrome reach age 55, and many live longer.
Myth: Behavior problems and depression are just part of having Down syndrome.
Truth: Often, medical or mental health problems go untreated due to the assumption that it is typical of having this genetic condition. Complete examinations by appropriate heal care professionals should always be pursued.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome are placed in segregated special education programs.
Truth: Children with Down syndrome are included in regular academic classrooms across the country. Students may be integrated into specific courses or fully included in the regular classroom for all subjects.
Myth: Adults with Down syndrome may be unable to work.
Truth: Businesses seek young adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions. They are employed by banks, corporations, nursing homes, hotels and restaurants. They work in the music and entertainment industry. People with Down syndrome bring to their jobs enthusiasm, reliability and dedication.
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