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Publish Date: March 18, 2021

What is Down syndrome?

Sunday, March 21st marks World Down syndrome day and a perfect time for everyone to learn more about what Down syndrome is and how to create the best opportunities for our fellow Albertans with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender, or socioeconomic lines in approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is considerable variation worldwide.

What does Down syndrome affect?

A person with Down syndrome may be a little bit slower when it comes to learning, but with a positive attitude and focus it can be overcome. All people with Down syndrome learn, develop and achieve. People with Down syndrome have developmental differences that affect their learning style because of this, it is important to identify the best methods of teaching each child.

Why is World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st?

The 21st day of the 3rd month was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

Are there different types of Down syndrome?

There are 3 types of Down syndrome Trisomy 21, Translocation, and Mosaicism. Learn more about each of them here: What is Trisomy 21?

How does Down syndrome affect the body?

Down syndrome may cause low muscle tone, potential heart complications, and vision issues due to the presence of extra genetic material associated with the 21st chromosome. However, Down syndrome is not a medical condition and should never prohibit someone from employment, sports, medical services or insurance, and general inclusivity.

Can people with Down syndrome work?

Of course! There are many adults who have Down syndrome that contributes to the workforce and succeed, like anyone else. It’s so important to continue to create inclusive workplaces and opportunities for people of all skill sets, setting them up with tools to succeed.

Take Lil’E Café for example, their entire staff is made up of joyful, compassionate, and skilled people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

How can I bring awareness to World Down Syndrome Day?

 You can wear blue and yellow, they’re recognized as the colours of Down syndrome, OR, wear your funky, crazy, mismatched socks! You can share pictures of you in them on social media to create conversation and bring attention to these wonderful individuals and all they’re capable of.

Use the hashtag #LOTSOFSOCKS or #worlddownsyndromeday and tag the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook @edssociety.

If you’re in Calgary, you can tag @LilECoffee an employer of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @CdnDownSyndrome.

Learn even more about Down syndrome using these great resources!

www.edss.ca; www.cdss.ca; https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/

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