About Down Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is the most common genetic variation, occurring in about one of every 691 live births. Approximately 400,000 people living in the United States have Down syndrome. Although researchers have not yet determined its cause, we know that Down syndrome results from an extra 21st chromosome and affects people of all ages, races and economic levels.

Most children born with Down syndrome will experience delay in physical, cognitive and/or language development. Like all people, however, individuals with Down syndrome vary widely in their mental and physical abilities. Children with Down syndrome are also at higher risk for certain medical conditions, but with early detection and treatment, most conditions can be eliminated or minimized.

With loving homes, available therapies, advanced medical care, better education and greater social acceptance, people with Down syndrome can live full and satisfying lives. Each year, more teens and adults with Down syndrome graduate from high school, go to college, find employment and live independently. Today, as awareness and acceptance grow, there are more opportunities than ever before for people with Down syndrome to develop abilities, discover talents and realize dreams.

More DS Facts

More detailed information about Down syndrome is available online through the National Down Syndrome Society and National Down Syndrome Congress. You can also download Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis for accurate, comprehensive information about Down syndrome.