Down Syndrome Awareness -The Myths and Facts

What is Down Syndrome?

DS or DNS, also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability.

People with Down Syndrome may have some alike characteristics with one another such as small chin, slanted eyes, poor muscle tone, and flat nasal bridge.

Here in Philippines, we see a lot of people with Down Syndrome.  In old age, there were myths about how Down Syndrome happens.

In this blog, I would like to raise awareness about the Truth on this Genetic condition that is very common, not only in our country but in the whole world.

Myth: Down Syndrome is a rare disorder.

Truth: Down Syndrome is a common chromosomal condition. Approximately, 1 in 700 babies is born with Down Syndrome.

And I am one of the lucky Mom who gave birth to a beautiful girl with Down Syndrome.

Her name is Erza Chloe. She is 5 years old. She loves dancing, singing and playing.

Myth: Down Syndrome is Hereditary. Most of us thought that this condition is “Namamana” or run in Families. The truth is No.

Truth: 99% of cases with Down Syndrome is completely random. Translocation, is the only type of Down Syndrome that has a hereditary component. Translocation accounts for 3 to 4% of all cases of Down syndrome.  Of those, one third (or 1% of all cases of Down syndrome) are hereditary. Karyotyping is a  laboratory blood test to determine which type of Down Syndrome a person have.

Erza Chloe’s Karyotyping result is Trisomy 21. As per her Geneticst, this is a common and random case. She assured us that this will not happen again with our next baby. And She is right Erza is a sister of a bouncing baby boy.

Myth: All People with Down Syndrome have severe cognitive delay.

Truth: People with Down Syndrome have mild to moderate cognitive delays. A quality educational program,  good health care, support from family and community enable people with Down Syndrome to have a fulfilling and productive life.

Erza is just like any other typical kid. As a mother of a special child, I would love Erza to be included in activities and socialize with kids her age.

Myth: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.

Truth: Most children with Down Syndrome are born to younger parents. However, the risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome is high for women ages 35 and above.

I am 23 years old when I gave birth to this pretty girl.

 

Myth: Families don’t get community support in bringing up their child with Down Syndrome.

Truth: There are Organizations and Support group bringing awareness here in Philippines. One of them is the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines which is founded for almost 25 years.

 

Nowadays, awareness is spread through different ways. Old myth are buried and facts about certain things are just one click in our digital world.

As a mother of a kid with Down Syndrome, I am grateful that I live in a world where truth can be searched in the internet and the consciousness of my daughters’ condition can be shared through words and other possible ways.

 

Reference:

http://dspnt.org/facts-myths-about-down-syndrome-2/

http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Down-Syndrome-Facts/