World Down Syndrome Awareness Day 21st March 2023
The Cambridgeshire babies and children with Down Syndrome community support group wants to invite you to celebrate the 21st March “World Down Syndrome Awareness Day” and wants to share information and some facts with all of you.
Today is a day to celebrate the life of every person who has Down Syndrome around the world as individuals with their own personalities, dreams, abilities, capabilities and the amazing potential they have to be part and contribute to society if real opportunities are given.
This year the message from people with Down Syndrome around the world is “with us not for us”
What does this mean?
People with Down Syndrome want to be treated fairly, to be included in decision making and to have the same opportunities as others and participate on an equal basis with others.
How can you help?
Helps us to eliminate the stereotypes. Spread the word and positive awareness, ask and learn how to help, get involve and advocate for people with Down Syndrome in your community.
Remember, everyone is different, everyone is unique and together we can make a difference.
Let’s learn some facts:
What’s Down Syndrome?
Let’s start explaining in simple words that Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement at the time of conception. It’s caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in the cells (Chromosome 21).
There are three types of Down Syndrome,
- Trysomy 21, is the most common, where every cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two.
- Translocation Down syndrome, happens for a small percentage of people with Down syndrome. It occurs when an extra part or a whole extra chromosome 21 is present, but it is attached or “trans-located” to a different chromosome rather than being a separate chromosome 21.
- Mosaic Down syndrome is very rare and happens when some of their cells have 3 copies of chromosome 21, but other cells have the typical two copies of chromosome 21.
For this reason, the date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. (Down Syndrome International)
What’s important to know?
Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition and is not an illness and therefore people with Down syndrome do not have anything “wrong”, do not suffer nor are they victims of their condition. It is only a part of the person.
People with Down Syndrome don’t like it when people refer to them as “a Down’s” or Down’s children or adults. People with Down’s syndrome are all unique individuals and should be acknowledged as a person first and foremost.
People with Down syndrome experience and have the same range of emotions, dreams and aspirations as other people do. If you judge someone based on a diagnosis, and automatically cut their life aspirations, dreams and abilities short, you will never truly see their full potential.
A very common mistake that is made is associating physical appearance to intellectual ability. Just always keep in mind that the learning disability affects a person’s ability to learn, but it does not mean they cannot learn. For this reason it is very important that with the right support and help of family, friends, the Local Authority, educational settings, health and social care professionals people with Down syndrome can reach and achieve their dreams and play an active part in their community.
For more information and support visit the following organisations:
Down’s Syndrome Association: https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/
Positive about Down Syndrome: https://positiveaboutdownsyndrome.co.uk/
Down Syndrome International: https://www.ds-int.org/
Cambridgeshire babies and children with Down Syndrome community support group: email@example.com