Did you don your best socks for World Down Syndrome Day?
This year Down Syndrome International focused on health and wellbeing, highlighting the issues that many people with Down Syndrome face when seeking appropriate access to healthcare. As well as conferences and global events on discrimination and research, the public also got involved by wearing odd or brightly coloured socks - an incentive to get people talking to one another about the day.
What is Down syndrome?
Down syndrome is a genetic condition caused by an extra copy of a certain chromosome in the DNA. It has both physical and neurological effects, typically including some form of learning disability and delayed growth as well as distinctive facial features. However there are also a number of misconceptions about Down Syndrome that can lead to feelings of isolation if not properly addressed - for example the perception that people with Down Syndrome are incapable of communication or comprehension, or that they are less emotionally complex.
People with Down Syndrome have varying degrees of capability, but the vast majority are able to learn and live independently, including managing a job and a family. While many will need support with certain aspects of life, it's important to recognise that while development may be delayed, people with Down Syndrome are still able to cultivate the same cognitive and social skills as most other people.
Around 750 babies with Down Syndrome are born in the UK every year. This year Down Syndrome International is campaigning to ensure that all medical professionals understand the specific issues which affect people with Down Syndrome, and that underlying problems are not blamed on Down Syndrome out of a lack of understanding.
How can I help?
Down Syndrome International is inviting people to give money to the organisation. You can read more about the day, or donate, via the link below.