Down syndrome is a common disorder and has grown even more common in recent years. It’s estimated that one in every 700 babies are born with this disorder. It increased, according to statistics by 30% between 1979 and 2003.
What caused this steady incline is unknown. But what is known is children with Down syndrome are often misunderstood and thought to be simply incapable. But in recent years, our understanding of Down’s babies is increasing, and the way these children learn and succeed is still misunderstood.
Do They Look Alike?
You often hear that people with Down syndrome all look the same. This myth comes from the cause of Down syndrome. The first sign a child has downs is the signature look. It is a chromosomal disorder, and causes those born with the disorder to have similar features like,
- Almond shaped eyes, sometimes with epicanthic folds.
- A button nose, that has a flat appearance.
- A shorter stature.
But despite these signature looks once you look beyond their disorder you will find that people with Down syndrome look very different. Often, they look like their families, they have dark hair, light hair, curly or straight, and facial features that match their relatives.
They Can Read
Learning disabilities have sadly gone hand in hand with Down Syndrome, but the assumption in the past that they were unable to succeed is just a sad chapter in the history of the Down syndrome community. The culture of underachievement, for children who learn differently, has been the plague of anyone with a learning disability. But thankfully we have started to grow beyond that now, and children with Down’s are no longer falling through the cracks. Not only can they read, but they can succeed in learning. They just learn differently and cause us to challenge the status quo about teaching children in general.
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”― Ignacio Estrada
People with this disorder, are proving every day that they are capable of great things. Here are a few people with Down syndrome who have succeeded in life.
- Angela Bachiller, the first person with Down syndrome to hold public office and pursue a political career.
- Megan McCormick, the first person with the condition to graduate with honors from a technical college.
- Pablo Pineda a writer, speaker, and actor who holds a bachelor’s in educational psychology.
They Will Always Be Heavy
Obesity and Down’s people often go hand in hand. Partly because they have low muscle tone. And according to The Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Research has shown that they have a lower metabolism, meaning a need for fewer calories compared to others. So, an active lifestyle is important. Also, babies with Down syndrome may need physical therapy at a young age to learn to walk properly.
People with Down syndrome are proving every day that the myths common to the condition are not always true, they just need others to look past their syndrome and see them for what they are.