October is nationally recognized as Down Syndrome Awareness Month!
For DSAM, we’re bringing attention to what it means to have Down syndrome, and how we can better include, support, and celebrate those with it.
“It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities,” said Chris Burke, National Down Syndrome Society Goodwill Ambassador
Understanding Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition in the world and occurs when someone has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material affects the course of development and produces the traits of Down syndrome.
There are three types of Down Syndrome:
- Trisomy 21 (95 percent of cases)
All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the degrees in which they’re affected range from mild to moderate. Just as there are cognitive characteristics of Down syndrome, there are also physical traits. Varying physical features include low muscle tone, small stature, a deep crease in the center of the palm, and upward slanting eyes.
It’s important to point out that people have Down syndrome; they are not “afflicted” by it, nor do they “suffer” from it.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Down syndrome is that the condition prohibits a person’s ability to become a fully functioning adult. But, people with Down syndrome are more than capable of being productive members of society. They can attend school, hold jobs, have meaningful relationships, vote, and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways, just like anyone else.
Participating in DSAM
Six simple and creative ways to get involved this October:
1. Raise Awareness
Educate your children about the condition, emphasizing the ability of those who have it, and not the disability. Teach them to accept and include their peers with Down syndrome.
2. Join the Cause
Participate in fundraising efforts by either hosting or joining a Down Syndrome Awareness event. Popular DSAM community events are the Buddy Walk, golf tournaments, or tennis matches.
3. Dress Down Day
Organize a “Dress Down Day” at school or work. By donating $1, on Dress Down Day participants can dress casually for work, or wear pajamas to school.
Donating money is a great way to support Down syndrome awareness, but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can help by giving books and materials that help children with Down syndrome and their families. You can also donate goodies or door prizes for the local Down syndrome awareness events.
5. Collect Dimes for Downs
Put out “Dimes for Downs” collection jars at your local stores, shops, salons, library, etc. Then donate the change collected to a Down syndrome organization of your choice.
Show your support by assisting with events and services provided for the Down syndrome community around you.
Alexandria Emergency Hospital promotes the inclusion and acceptance of all types of community members. Our facility is opening October 16th, and we look forward to helping you with any medical emergencies that may arise.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Alexandria Emergency Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
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