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Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center

About Down Syndrome

Each person with Down Syndrome is a unique individual with their own preferences, ideas, abilities and personality. It’s as difficult to generalize people with Down syndrome as it is with people without Down Syndrome. 

Down syndrome facts:

  • Down syndrome is a common genetic variation that usually causes delays in physical, intellectual and language development. 
  • The exact causes of the chromosomal rearrangement and primary prevention of Down syndrome are currently unknown.
  • Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the world. It is not related to race, nationality, religion or socio-economic status.
  • The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is approximately one in every 722 live births. 
  • Of all children born in this country annually, approximately 5,000 will have Down syndrome.
  • There are approximately 250,000 families in the United States touched by Down syndrome.
  • While the likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases with maternal age, 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age, as women in that age group give birth to more babies overall.
  • There is a wide variation in cognitive abilities, behavior, and physical development in individuals with Down syndrome. 
  • 30%-50% of individuals with Down syndrome have heart defects and 8%-12% have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth. Most of these defects are correctable with surgery.
  • Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.
  • In adulthood, many persons with Down syndrome hold jobs, live independently and enjoy recreational opportunities in their communities.

Source: National Down Syndrome Congress