Here are 5 Myths that I've heard as a Special Needs Mom that I know are circulating but shouldn't be:
MYTH: Down syndrome is hereditary and runs in families.
TRUTH: Down syndrome is hereditary in approximately 1% of all instances. In the other 99% of cases Down syndrome is completely random and the only known factor that increases the risk is the age of the mother (over 35). Translocation is the only type of Down syndrome known to have hereditary link. Translocation accounts for 3 to 4% of all cases of Down syndrome. Of those, one third (or 1% of all cases of Down syndrome) are hereditary.
MYTH: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.
TRUTH: Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old simply because younger women have more children. However, the incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother.
MYTH: People with Down syndrome have severe cognitive delays.
TRUTH: Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate. Children with Down syndrome fully participate in public and private educational programs. Educators and researchers are still discovering the full educational potential of people with Down syndrome.
MYTH: Children with Down syndrome must be placed in segregated special education programs.
TRUTH: Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country. In some instances they are integrated into specific courses, while in other situations students are fully included in the regular classroom for all subjects. The current trend in education is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of the community. Increasingly, individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school with regular diplomas, participate in post-secondary academic and college experiences and, in some cases, receive college degrees.
MYTH: Adults with Down syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal relationships leading to marriage.
TRUTH: People with Down syndrome have meaningful friendships, date, socialize, form ongoing relationships and marry.For even more myths and truths check out http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Myths-Truths/ and for inspiring stories from families who know all sides of Down Syndrome, please check out these wonderful messages of inspiration at My Great Story! You can also find many wonderful resources at http://www.ndss.org
Disclaimer: Material content is taken directly from resources at http://www.ndss.org and is used in this blog post to promote World Down Syndrome Day. All quoted material can be found at http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Myths-Truths/