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.
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!
|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.|
|3. Babies conceived with Down syndrome have a 60-70% chance to miscarry naturally before birth.|
| 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!
|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.|
|6. Since the practice of institutionalization has ended, the average IQ of people with Down syndrome has increased by 20 points.|
|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.|
|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.
|9. The divorce rate among parents of a child with Down syndrome is lower than the national average.|
|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.
|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%.
| 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.
| 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!