National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

The month of October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which allows us to bring awareness and understanding of this condition that affects one of every 700 babies born. It is a non-hereditary chromosomal disorder and the leading cause of intellectual and development delay in the world.

Understanding and treatment of persons with Down Syndrome has increased their quality of life, and their life expectancy. As recently as 1983, the average life expectancy for someone with Down Syndrome was 25 years old. Today that average is 60 years. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation credits this dramatic increase in life expectancy to the end of the inhumane practice of institutionalizing those with Down Syndrome.

At Flatrock, we have many residents with Down Syndrome, who live in our care homes and thrive with occupational therapy. Some hold jobs and have formed strong bonds with fellow residents and caregivers. Like everyone, our residents have their unique challenges, preferences and dislikes.

We encourage those who are unfamiliar with this syndrome to learn more about it. In addition to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, there are many resources — including the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Association for Down Syndrome.