Down Syndrome

  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition.
  • In the U.S., there is approximately 6,000 children are born with Down syndrome each year. Today, more than 400,000 people in the U.S. have Down syndrome.

Down Syndrome Fact Sheet (NDSS)

Down Syndrome Myths & Truths (NDSS)

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Low muscle tone
  • Small stature
  • Upward slant to the eyes
  • Single deep crease across the center of their palm

Causes:

  • An extra copy of the 21st chromosome (trisomy 21) 

Other Illnesses and Complications:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Respiratory problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Childhood leukemia
  • Thyroid conditions

Preferred Language:

  • Down syndrome rather than "Down's syndrome"
  • Avoid terms and phrases such as "a Down syndrome child," "a Down's child," and "he has Down's"
  • Down syndrome is a condition, NOT a disease
  • People "have" Down syndrome they do not "suffer from" it and are not "afflicted by" it

Source: National Down Syndrome Society (2011)