Each cell in the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes; babies get half of each pair from their mom and the other half from their dad. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that is usually caused by an extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome. It is not caused by anything either parent did or did not do.
About 250,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not usually run in families. Children with Down syndrome will grow and develop like other babies, but may meet milestones later than a typical child. The mental, behavioral and developmental progress of people with Down syndrome varies widely and cannot be predicted before a person is born. Currently, the average life expectancy for people with Down syndrome is about 60 years.
Your baby has or may have Down syndrome. It is natural for you to have questions, concerns or fears. You are not alone in your feelings or on the journey ahead of you. Know that the outlook for people with Down syndrome has improved over time because of advances in medical care, education and public attitudes.
Download the brochure below containing facts about Down syndrome and a list of places where you can go to find more information and support.
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