FAQS ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME
Q: Is Down syndrome a rare genetic disorder?
A: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. One in
every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome,
approximately 6,000 births per year. Today, there are more than 400,000
people living with Down syndrome living in the United States.
Q: Do people with Down syndrome live very long?
A: Life expectancy for individuals with Down
syndrome has increased dramatically in recent years, with the average
life expectancy approaching that of peers without Down syndrome.
Q: Aren’t most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents?
A: Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old
simply because younger women have more children. However, the incidence
of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the
Q: Don’t people with Down syndrome have severe cognitive delays?
A: Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to
moderate. Children with Down syndrome fully participate in public and
private educational programs. Educators and researchers are still
discovering the full educational potential of people with Down syndrome.
Q: Aren’t most people with Down syndrome institutionalized?
A: Today people with Down syndrome live at home with their families and are
active participants in the educational, vocational, social, and
recreational activities of the community. They are integrated into the
regular education system and take part in sports, camping, music, art
programs and all the other activities of their communities. People with
Down syndrome are valued members of their families and their
communities, contributing to society in a variety of ways.
Q: Will parents feel alone when raising a child with Down syndrome?
A: In almost every community of the United States there are parent support
groups and other community organizations directly involved in providing
services to families of individuals with Down syndrome.
Q: Do children with Down syndrome learn in segregated classrooms?
A: Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in
schools across the country. In some instances they are integrated into
specific courses, while in other situations students are fully included
in the regular classroom for all subjects. The current trend in
education is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of
the community. Increasingly, individuals with Down syndrome graduate
from high school with regular diplomas, participate in post-secondary
academic and college experiences and, in some cases, receive college
Q: Are adults with Down syndrome employable?
A: Businesses are seeking adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions. They
are being employed in small- and medium-sized offices: by banks,
corporations, nursing homes, hotels and restaurants. They work in the
music and entertainment industry, in clerical positions, childcare, the
sports field and in the computer industry to name a few.
Q: Are people with Down syndrome always happy?
A: People with Down syndrome have feelings just like everyone else in the
population. They experience the full range of emotions. They respond to
positive expressions of friendship and they are hurt and upset by
Q: Can adults with Down syndrome get married?
A: People with Down syndrome have meaningful friendships, date, socialize, form ongoing relationships and marry.