Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness

Miss K after the Fall Festival at Camp Korey, a camp for special needs kids.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. I am very aware of Down Syndrome. I live with it 365 days a year.

Since it is Down Syndrome Awareness month, I will share a few things to make you aware of Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is named after John Langford Down a British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. Down Syndrome is when there is a third copy of the 21st chromosome. This is the most common chromosome abnormality. In the USA it is one in every 691 births. Those are just a few facts.

Here are a few other things that you should be aware of if you know and love someone with Down Syndrome.

They teach you patience. It can take a bit longer to do things and so you have to wait.

They can teach you stubbornness. They are stubborn and sometimes you need to be more stubborn.

They teach you to laugh. Miss K will say things that keep us laughing.

They teach you to slow down. Some days I am rushing through life and Miss K is stopping to smell the roses or look at the leaves or whatever else.

They will change your life. Miss K has changed our life in so many ways.

They give you a chance to practice self-control and some days you get frustrated and want to pull your hair out but you practice self-control.

They love you. Miss K will come in from playing and say, "I love you."

So be aware of those around you with Down Syndrome and get to know them, they have things they enjoy, dreams, and love to share. Get to know those with a Down Syndrome child, sibling, your life will be changed.

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  1. That photo is just so cute of Miss K!

    Do the majority of Down Syndrome people have life-long heart issues, or is that a minority? My husband's sister had Down Syndrome and died at 8 months old, before he and his other sister were born. I think she got pneumonia, but it isn't clear what happened. His father, age 90, doesn't talk about it much, and his mother passed away when he was 16. There are few other relatives to ask.

    I do think it caused a rift in their marriage, because the father grieved much, and the mother's heart seemed to be soothed by getting pregnant soon after.

    We had a baby die in utero at 20 weeks, and I've often wondered if he may have had Down Syndrome. The pathologist didn't seem to detect it, visually, but no tests were done. I think it is inherited at least to some extent, but not as strongly as diseases, maybe?

  2. I am sorry to hear about your in-laws. I think the statistic is that 50 percent have a heart problem and that can vary -- thankfully for Miss K she had surgery at 2 weeks and we just have check-ups every couple of years to make sure it is still ok. From everything I have read it is not necessarily an inherited disease.



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