CONTACT >

Down Syndrome Society
of Rhode Island

100 Washington St Unit 325

West Warwick, RI 02893

T: (401) 463-5751
E: info@dssri.org

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Photography courtesy of 9ten Photography

WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME?

SOME FACTS ON DOWN SYNDROME

  • Down syndrome is a common genetic variation which usually causes delay in physical, intellectual and language development.
     

  • The exact causes of the chromosomal rearrangement and primary prevention of Down syndrome are currently unknown.Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the world.
     

  • The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is estimated to be 1 in every 691 live births.
     

  • About one-quarter million families in the United States are affected by Down Syndrome.  It is not related to race, nationality, religion, or socio-economic status.
     

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

  • There is wide variation in intellectual abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique personality, capabilities and talents.

  • 30 – 50% of individuals with Down syndrome have heart defects and 8 – 12% have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth.  Most of these conditions are now correctable with surgery.

  • 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.

  • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.

  • Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.

  • In adulthood, many persons with Down syndrome hold jobs, live independently and enjoy recreational opportunities in their communities.