Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

In honor of our son Taylor’s 1st year of life, and to raise awareness of Down syndrome, here are 13 facts and pieces of information that I have found interesting and helpful.

In the water just a few minutes after birth

In the water just a few minutes after birth

1. Nothing that the mother or father does causes their child to have Down syndrome. The cause is unknown, but early improper cell division happens before or immediately after fertilization of the egg.

My son was planned by God and He knows exactly what He is doing!

Age 1 month, he has been in the hospital for 20 days with RSV/pneumonia and will be released 3 days later

Age 1 month – he had been in the hospital for 20 days with RSV/pneumonia and was released 3 days later

 2. Although the probability of having a baby with Down syndrome increases with a mother’s age, 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to mothers under 35 years old. This is because of the higher birth rate in younger mothers.

Age 2 months

Age 2 months

 3. Babies conceived with Down syndrome have a 60-70% chance to miscarry naturally before birth.

Age 3 months - one of the first smiles caught on camera

Age 3 months – one of the first smiles caught on camera

 4. 90% of women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to abort their babies.

After reading this statistic and the one above, I find it even more of a miracle that Taylor is with us today. God has a big plan for his life!

Learning to reach and grab for toys while sitting upright to strengthen head control

Age 4 months – learning to reach and grab for toys while sitting upright to strengthen head control

 5.  In 1929, the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was just 9 years old. In 1983, their average lifespan was 25 years old. Today, just 30 years later, it is 60 years old! The dramatic increase is largely due to the fact that people with Down syndrome are no longer institutionalized.

age 5 months - he loves to swim and especially enjoys floating on his back with my hand under his head

Age 5 months – he loves to swim and especially enjoys floating on his back with my hand under his head

 6. Since the practice of institutionalization has ended, the average IQ of people with Down syndrome has increased by 20 points.

Learning to sit in his high chair supported by blanket rolls on each side

Age 6 months – learning to sit in his high chair supported by blanket rolls on each side

7. Words that the medical profession have used in the past to describe someone with Down syndrome include moron, idiot, and imbecile. The word retarded, which simply means “delayed” eventually started being used as time passed. However, like many other words in our language, the common meaning of the word retarded is now an insult. This is why there is a large movement to strike the word “retarded” from our vocabulary when we are referring to anyone with any type of disability.

Age 7 months - he is full of smiles these days

Age 7 months – he is full of smiles these days

8. 38% of people in the US know someone with Down syndrome, and that number is expected to increase as the population of people with Down syndrome continue to live longer and better lives.

I had never personally known anyone with Down syndrome before my son was born. I am quickly realizing how much I have missed out on in my life.

Age 8 months - he can sit with help from the boppy pillow

Age 8 months – he can sit with help from the boppy pillow

9. The divorce rate among parents of a child with Down syndrome is lower than the national average.

Age 9 months - sitting by himself is a big milestone

Age 9 months – sitting by himself is a big milestone

10. 88% of people who have a sibling with Down syndrome say that they are better people directly because of their brother or sister’s presence in their life.

Taylor is a huge blessing to his 9 brothers and sisters as well.

Age 10 months - increasing trunk strength by sitting on a bench

Age 10 months – increasing trunk strength by sitting on a bench

11. 96% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their life, themselves, and their appearance.

What do you think the percentage of “normal” people is that could say this about themselves? I imagine it is not 96%.

Age 11 months - pulling to stand with help

Age 11 months – pulling to stand with help

 12. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

God knows His plan for Taylor, and planned him into our family before he was ever conceived. We are so thankful to God for this wonderful blessing in our lives.

Happy 1st Birthday!

Happy 1st Birthday!

 13. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Taylor is a fearfully and wonderfully made work of God!

References:

1. http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/about-down-syndrome/facts-about-down-syndrome/

2. http://www.downsyndromeprenataltesting.com/down-syndrome-national-pregnancy-and-infant-loss-month/

3. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/04/did-you-know-90-of-babies-with-down-syndrome-are-aborted/

4. http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/about-down-syndrome/history-of-down-syndrome/research-and-medical-care-timeline

5. http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/about-down-syndrome/the-story-of-two-syndromes/

6. http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/09/22/down-syndrome-families-happy/14087/

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Posted in Down Syndrome
One comment on “Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
  1. Mary Banspach says:

    Brenda this was beautifully written. It is nice to know about the %’s that you gave. I was 40 when i was pregnant with Jacob. I was a little worried at first. The doctor wanted to do all kinds of test to see if he would have down syndrome. Jim and i talked about. We decided that this baby was 11 years apart like the girls. He was due on my 41st birthday. He was meant to be.I didn’t worry until he was born. I kept asking if he was alright. The doc said he is fine.I said does he have down syndrome. Jim said “It doesn’t matter, he was meant to be.”
    I never really talk about that, just though you would like to know.
    Sister in Christ,
    Mary

    Like

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