What is Down’s Syndrome?

Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome.

There are 60,000 people in the UK with the condition.

Although the chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome is higher for older mothers, more babies with Down’s syndrome are born to younger women.

Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. It occurs by chance at conception and is irreversible.

Down’s syndrome is not a disease. People with Down’s syndrome are not ill and do not “suffer” from the condition.

People with the syndrome will have a degree of learning difficulty. However, most people with Down’s syndrome will walk and talk and many will read and write, go to ordinary schools and lead fulfilling, semi-independent lives.

Today the average life expectancy for a person with Down’s syndrome is between 50 and 60. A considerable number of people with Down’s syndrome live into their 60’s.

(Source – www.downs-syndrome.org.uk)

Information for New Parents

For anyone one who has had a prenatal diagnosis or baby with a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome, a very useful document called “Early support – Down’s Syndrome’ can be found on the DSA website (fairly near to the bottom of the page). It is a guide for parents/carers and covers topics such as a diagnosis, education, health and also signposts to other professional agencies. To access the resource, use the link here.

Positive about Down Syndrome (PADS) is a website for parents and parents-to-be which shares an insight into the lives of individuals with Down’s Syndrome and their families. This website is full of stories written by parents that will inspire others and show the reality of life with Down syndrome. Please use this link.