Down Syndrome Awareness: National Down Syndrome Congress · NJ Disability Svcs.
Support For Families · National Down Syndrome Society
Down Syndrome is a condition or a syndrome, not a disease.
Individuals with Down syndrome are becoming increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as school, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational activities. While their cognitive delays can range from very mild to severe, most people with Down syndrome have delays that are mild to moderate.
In 1910, children with Down syndrome were expected to survive to age nine. With the discovery of antibiotics, the average survival age doubled to 20. With advancements in clinical treatment — corrective heart surgeries in particular, as many as 80% of adults with Down syndrome reach age 60, and many live even longer. Thus, more and more Americans are interacting with individuals with Down syndrome, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance.
People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first: instead of “a Down syndrome child,” it should be “a child with Down syndrome.” People “have” Down syndrome; they do not “suffer from” it and are not “afflicted by” it. “Intellectual disability” or “cognitive disability” has replaced “mental retardation” as the appropriate term. And the use of the word “retarded” in any derogatory context should be condemned strongly.
Sophie Ashdowne is an Australian teenaged actress with Down Syndrome. The full-length video of her story is here.