World Down Syndrome Day
We have all come in contact with people with Down Syndrome at some point. People with Down Syndrome are often happy and free-spirited, and often surround themselves by their animal friends. They seem to be able enjoy the small things in life in a way that many people can’t.
They also have to deal with many challenges every day. Even though they are positive and optimistic, simple tasks that we take for granted can be very difficult for them. This is why it’s important that we all spend some time on World Down Syndrome Day learning more about the disorder and how we can help people with it to live happier lives.
Since thousands of years, down syndrome has been documented in every race. Many infants with disabilities were abandoned or killed in ancient times. However, there are a number of historical artifacts that depict Down syndrome patients, including some Renaissance paintings and South American pottery from the 5th Century AD.
John Langdon Down, an English physician, first described Down syndrome as a distinct form of mental disability in 1862. Jerome Lejeune discovered the cause of Down syndrome, the triplication 21st chromosome. It took almost 100 years to discover. Many people with Down syndrome were institutionalized in the 19th and 20th century. Few of the medical conditions were treated and many died during infancy and early adulthood.
Although it is often believed that the eugenics movement was only active in Nazi Germany, it was actually active in many other parts of the globe. In the first half century, programs were started for forced sterilization of people with Down syndrome or similar degrees of disability. Many advocacy groups for Down syndrome were formed after the Second World War. They began to fight for inclusion of Down syndrome patients in the general school system, for better understanding of the condition, and for support groups for families of Down syndrome children.
On March 21, 2006, the first World Down Syndrome Day took place. The month and day of the day were chosen not by chance, but to correspond with 21 or trisomy.
World Down Syndrome Day aims to raise awareness and find ways to improve the lives for those with it. There are many activities and events that you can participate in on World Down Syndrome Day, no matter where you are located. To see the complete list of education and fun events happening on March 21, visit the World Down Syndrome Day official website. You don’t have to go to these events if you are unable to attend or you want to celebrate the day in a different way, you can find a way to support someone with Down syndrome in your community. There are approximately one in 1,000 Down syndrome babies born each year. This means that there will be someone living near you who is trying to help them.
If you do celebrate this day, make it a good one!