• • Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome. • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States. • Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels. • The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age. • People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives. • A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all. • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today. • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways. • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. • Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. • Researchers are making great strides in identifying the genes on Chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Many feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future. Down syndrome Q & A Myths & Truths What causes Down syndrome? Incidences and Maternal Age Preferred Language Guide General Info
  • National Down Syndrome Society The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Family Support Network of Western North Carolina A parent to parent program for families of people needs who live in western North Carolina. Woodbine House Web source for books on disabilities, specifically for parents, children, teachers and professionals. Special Olympics (Buncombe County & NC) F.I.R.S.T F.I.R.S.T. is a nonprofit, parent driven and family centered organization started in 2001, which stands for Families’ Information Resource Support and Technology. We are an information clearinghouse, resource center, and unique source of support for families of children with disabilities. F.I.R.S.T. educates and trains parents to be the best advocate for their children with disabilities. We are in partnership with Asheville Parks and Recreation Department in Buncombe County, Center for Inspired Education and Mars Hill College, Special Education Department. Our Mission is to help persons with disabilities to live included, productive lives as members of the community by supporting and educating families to be their child’s best advocate and youth to adult to be self-advocates.
  • Enrichment Program Grant Application 
  • “Dimes for Down Syndrome” labels 
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