Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Down Syndrome Day

You may or may not know that today is World Down Syndrome Day!  Many places around the world are hosting events today to raise awareness for Down Syndrome.  The motto this year is "Let's Change" and is focusing on equal rights, inclusive education, employment, health care, and independent living for those with Down Syndrome!  Pretty cool, right?  You know what else is amazing??  The United Nations recognizes this day!

How you can get involved:
It's quite simple.  Just wear lots of socks!! You read that correctly.  Wear bright, mismatched socks today!  Here's the thing--they have to be on display so that people can ask about them!  Maybe it's 3 socks (or an EXTRA sock) for an extra chromosome!  Get creative and find out more info here.

Image: World Down Syndrome Day

Myths/Facts about Down Syndrome (from Down Syndrome International):
-Myth: People with down syndrome do not live very long.
-Fact: People with down syndrome can live long lives thanks to medical advances.

-Myth: Only older mothers have babies with Down Syndrome.
-Fact: Older women do have a higher risk to have a baby with Down Syndrome. However, more babies with Down Syndrome are born to younger mothers.

-Myth: People with Down syndrome cannot achieve normal life goals.
-Fact: They can, with the right support. They can learn to walk, talk, etc. A lot of children with down syndrome are now mainstreamed in school and can live semi-independent adult lives.

Language guidelines for talking about Down Syndrome (from Down Syndrome International):
-Don't say "mongol"...instead say "person/baby/child with Down Syndrome"
-Don't say "suffers from" or "is a victim of"...instead say "has Down Syndrome"
-Don't say "a Downs baby/child/person"...instead say "a person/baby/child with Down Syndrome"
-Don't say "retarded/mentally handicapped"...instead say "learning disability"
-Don't say "disease/illness/handicap"...instead say "condition OR genetic condition"
-Don't say "Downs"...instead say "DS" when abbreviating

Hope you found some of that interesting. I certainly did!!  Spread awareness and wear some socks :)

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