Friday, October 23, 2009

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and although I waited until the end of the month, I definitely want to write a post. For those of you reading our blog who do not have a child/family member with down syndrome I want to take this opportunity to provide some info on down syndrome. Before Madi blessed our lives I really did not know anything about down syndrome except for the few encouters I had with people who have down syndrome. When Madi was 2 days old and the Dr's told us they suspected that Madi may have down syndrome I was so scared and literally felt like the world was crashing down on me. I was in shock and prayed with all my heart that they were wrong and the blod test would come back normal. It took a little while but we soon realized that Madi is perfect and exactly who she is supposed to be. She is not a chromosomal mistake but in fact a perfect creation and we are so blessed that God entrusted her to us. Here are some facts on down syndrome for those of you who would like to learn a little bit more:
  • Down syndrome (also known as trisomy 21) occurs when individuals have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. Typically people have 46 chromosomes (2 copies of all 23 chromosomes). People with down syndrome have 47 chromosomes. This happens at conception and is not a result of parents' activities during or before pregnancy.
  • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States and it occurs in people of all races and economic levels.

  • The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

  • People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

  • A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

  • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways

  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

Please know that Dave and I are always open to talk about Down Syndrome and our experiences with Madi. We have learned so much in the past year and have met so many amazing people who have helped us in our journey. We hope that we can give back and educate the world on how special it is to have an extra chromosome.

Please take a look at this video from the National Down Syndrome Congress. I had to share...it's awesome!


3 comments:

  1. Well put Jennifer! You guys are such amazing parents to such an amazing little girl!

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  2. oh and what a beautiful picture you have of maddi!!

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