The National Down Syndrome Society released the following list of “Myths
& Truths About Down Syndrome”:

Myth: Down syndrome is a rare genetic disorder.

Truth: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition.
One in every 733 live births is a child with Down syndrome, representing
approximately 5,000 births per year in the United States alone. Today,
more than 400,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome.

Myth: People with Down syndrome have a short life span.

Truth: Life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome has increased
dramatically in recent years, with the average life expectancy
approaching that of peers without Down syndrome.

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 are severely “retarded.”

Truth: Most people with Down syndrome have IQs that fall in the mild to
moderate range of intellectual disability (formerly known as
“retardation”). 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: Most people with Down syndrome are institutionalized.

Truth: Today people with Down syndrome live at home with their families
and are active participants in the educational, vocational, social, and
recreational activities of the community. They are integrated into the
regular education system and take part in sports, camping, music, art
programs and all the other activities of their communities. People with
Down syndrome are valued members of their families and their
communities, contributing to society in a variety of ways.

Myth: Parents will not find community support in bringing up their child
with Down syndrome.

Truth: In almost every community of the United States there are parent
support groups and other community organizations directly involved in
providing services to families of individuals 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 unemployable.

Truth: Businesses are seeking young adults with Down syndrome for a
variety of positions. They are being employed in small- and medium-sized
offices: by banks, corporations, nursing homes, hotels and restaurants.
They work in the music and entertainment industry, in clerical
positions, childcare, the sports field and in the computer industry.
People with Down syndrome bring to their jobs enthusiasm, reliability
and dedication.

Myth: People with Down syndrome are always happy.

Truth: People with Down syndrome have feelings just like everyone else
in the population. They experience the full range of emotions. They
respond to positive expressions of friendship and they are hurt and
upset by inconsiderate behavior.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal
relationships leading to marriage.

Truth: People with Down syndrome date, socialize, form ongoing
relationships and marry.

Myth: Down syndrome can never be cured.

Truth: Research on Down syndrome is making great strides in identifying
the genes on chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down
syndrome. Scientists now feel strongly that it will be possible to
improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down
syndrome in the future.