Down Syndrome Awareness Month – {my niece}

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the perfect time to do a little bragging about my miracle niece.  The little peanut arrived by emergency C-Section and weighed in at 2 lbs. 11 oz. at birth.  A later intervention for delivery would have been……disastrous.  She was born with trisomy 21, but her parents didn’t know it at the time.  No one did.  And it didn’t matter.  All that mattered was that their beautiful little girl had arrived.

IMG_2556

She’s now a year old.  She can put her legs over her head like no body’s business.  She can jabber and coo and she can sit up.  She isn’t walking or crawling, but she’s going to get there.  She only weighs 13 lbs, but that’s just right for her.  She’s doing everything on her timeline, and that’s all that matters.

Is she going to grow up and go to school?  Absolutely!  Will she have a job when she gets old enough?  Yes.  Will she have responsibilities at home?  Yep.  Did her parents have to learn all kinds of things about extra medical conditions and paperwork and bureaucracy attached to have a special needs child?  Unfortunately, yes.  But that just makes their hearts swell even larger.

IMG_6937

Here’s what I’ve learned about Down Syndrome:  {{pass it on}}

Down Syndrome Facts

  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. 1:691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
  • There are three types of Down syndrome including trisomy 21, translocation and mosaicism.
  • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
  • 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.
  • 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% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age. 
  • 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.
  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and does not indicate the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

TRISOMY 21 (How it Happens)

Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called “nondisjunction.”  Nondisjunction results in an embryo with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two.  Prior to or at conception, a pair of 21st chromosomes in either the sperm or the egg does not separate.  As the embryo develops, the extra chromosome is replicated in every cell of the body.  This type of Down syndrome, which accounts for 95% of cases, is called trisomy 21.

IMG_1917

Our family feels super blessed to have a niece with Down Syndrome.  It’s my hope that you learn more this month about this condition (Trisomy 21), these special children, and their wonderful caregivers.  They deserve value and acceptance and could probably use a big hug, too.  {{smiling}}

Comments

  1. 1

    Tiffany says

    Thank you for all your sweet words and helping raise Down Syndrome Awareness. That Princess is so lucky to have you.

  2. 13

    Kristin says

    Only spirits that don’t need to be tried and tested in this life are born special needs. She is beautiful!

  3. 14

    says

    She is gorgeous! She’s so lucky to have such a wonderful loving family, and they’re lucky to have her. ;) I’m looking forward to seeing updates on her through the years (hint, hint!). Thanks for spreading awareness on such an important issue!

  4. 15

    says

    Hi Rick Love your website and poitisve karma. Today I came across your T21 explained page. I was surprised to see you have described T21 as a chromosome abnormality . I recommend the following definition, a quote by Rose Mordi, Nigeria at the UN conference on World Down Syndrome Day:“Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosome arrangement that has always been part of the human condition.”…..naturally occurring. Not an abnormality. Not a disorder. Not ‘What’s wrong with him?” Not a 90% abortion rate.I have a naturally occurring chromosome arrangement that has always been part of the human condition. My life has just as much value as any other, including yours.Can you imagine a doctor walking in and saying, “Your baby has Down syndrome. Don’t worry though. Children have been born with Down syndrome since the beginning of time. Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosome arrangement that has always been part of the human condition. Your child will be blessed to be a member of an amazing population of people that make this world a better place to live in.”Something as simple as the language we use could change the perception of how the world views my child and so many other children.What a wonderful, wonderful world it would be.Thanks for everything Rick!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>