If you’ve been reading Mom Knows It All for a while then you probably recall that my youngest son CJ has Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition there is, with one in every 691 babies in the US being born with it. Down syndrome 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.
There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the US. Down syndrome occurs when a person has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of 2. This extra chromosome impacts health and development, and causes the characteristics commonly associated with Down syndrome.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually. The designation provides a chance to spread awareness, advocate, educate and promote inclusion. It’s a great way to address issues, answer questions, share information, talk about the lives of people with Down syndrome including their abilities and accomplishments.
I consider myself very lucky to have CJ in my life and as my child. I hope one day society can accept him as the amazing person he is, instead of someone that is labeled, mocked, dismissed, ignored, avoided, shunned or stared at.
CJ is a person just like you and I. He has feelings. He embraces life and finds happiness in all sorts of places. He is kind, generous, loving and accepting. He works hard and always tries his best. He doesn’t label or judge. I wish more people were like him.
I’ll be sharing some facts, stories and opinions throughout the month so I hope you’ll check back. Should you have questions about Down syndrome, please feel free to leave a comment and I’d be hppy totry to answer them.