Sunday, October 7, 2012

FYI Friday (on Sunday) Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Last October I started a weekly post that I named FYI Fridays. I had a few FYI Fridays, then it morphed into an alliteration of "F" things on Fridays--favorite thing Fridays, fashion Friday, food Fridays, etc. It didn't last terribly long, but I thought I'd revisit the idea again. I had fun writing them.

And what led me to this again? Well, this month is Down Syndrome Awareness Month! As many of you know, Chad and I recently welcomed our 4th little boy, Way, into the world! Back in March, at our big ultrasound (really a few days later), we found out our baby had Down syndrome. We knew almost nothing about Down syndrome, so we quickly began educating ourselves. Chad started reading technical books, and I (blog lover that I am) began reading personal blogs and learning all that we could about Down syndrome before little Way was born. Now that I have a little knowledge and personal experience on the subject, I thought I'd share a few tidbits. . .I realize this is Sunday, and that I missed Friday, but let's just pretend. . .

1. Down syndrome is named after John Langdon Down, an English physician. Often people refer to Down syndrome as someone having Downs or Down's, but it is not plural or possessive. Also, when writing Down syndrome, syndrome is not capitalized because it is not a proper noun. *This is something I made the mistake of early on after learning about Way's diagnosis! I'm learning all kinds of things! However, when shortening the diagnosis in written form, DS is accepted for Down syndrome.

2. What exactly is Down syndrome? It is a genetic condition, in which a person has an extra copy (so a third copy) of chromosome 21.We've discovered that many of the medical professionals we've come in contact with, refer to Down syndrome as Trisomy 21. A person cannot "catch" it, nor is it curable. Down syndrome often comes with physical characteristics like low muscle tone, slightly slanted eyes, smaller stature and more, but because each person is uniquely created, not every person with Down syndrome has each characteristic.

3. And maybe the biggest thing I want to share, that I've learned, which makes complete sense to me, is that people with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first. So, instead of saying, "Down syndrome child" you should say "a child with Down syndrome." 

Obviously, there are lots more facts and tidbits about Down syndrome, but I wanted to just get a little out there for now. I know so many of you are learning along with us and we thank you for joining us!!


Ashley said...

Thank you for this! -Love it! We have lots to learn with thankful for that sweet boy!!

Molly Witherington said...

Thanks! Lots of this was news to me. Let me know if you want our PT's #. She is the best - and a believer to boot. Not that I want to birth a 3rd child that needs PT, but I do miss her!


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