Today there are still many misconceptions about Down syndrome and those who have it. This guide dispels some of the common myths about Down syndrome.
MYTH: Down syndrome is a rare disorder.
TRUTH: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, or around 6,000 births per year. Today, there approximately 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the United States.
MYTH: Down syndrome is hereditary and runs in families.
TRUTH: Translocation, a type of Down syndrome that accounts for 3 to 4% of all cases, is the only type of Down syndrome known to have a hereditary component. 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 likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother, especially after age 35.