Down syndrome- Debunking the most popular stereotypes

How about we stop believing in the few representations of Down Syndrome in the media and we learn some facts about it? First, let’s start by defining Down Syndrome as a condition in which a child is born with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome which causes both mental and physical disabilities in the kid’s development. But, for those who don’t like biology, this means that some kids have more genetic material than others. This condition is one of the few that although it can lower life expectancy, the technological and medical developments help people to overcome this condition and live a happy, long, and healthy life.
Down Syndrome is one of the most common genetic conditions, researchers have shown that 1 in 700 babies are born with the extra chromosome. However there multiple types of it: Trisomy 21 is the most common form where every cell has an extra copy of the chromosome, Mosaicism comes second when there are copies of the extra chromosome, but not in every cell, and Translocation which involves having only a part of the extra genetic material, not the whole chromosome.
Some of the symptoms that babies with Down Syndrome show at birth can vary, however, there are some common ones like flat facial features, small head, short neck, bulging tongue, poor muscle tone, and so on.
Is it even true?
One of the highly circulated stereotypes of Down Syndrome is that older parents are at risk when having a baby, but this is completely not true. A lot of research shows that most of the children born with this condition to women younger than 35 years old, simply because younger women have a tendency to give birth to more children. What is true is that mothers older than 35 years are more likely to give birth to a baby with this condition. And if we are already here, another myth that can be debunked is that Down Syndrome is not hereditary, only Translocation is more likely to run in the family, however, even this type has very low percentages of hereditary components.
Is there any adulthood?
The majority of stereotypes concern that people with this condition are unemployed and unable to work which is totally fake. Plenty of companies hire people with this condition for example in banks, corporations, hotels, hospitals, restaurants, so they have a lot of opportunities due to their core desire to make their work valuable and to contribute and help with everything.
Another myth is that people with this genetic condition are always happy and they are unable to feel sad. However, this is a very big lie enhanced by society and media. But, like any other human being, they feel everything exactly the same way as you do. This also helps them value friendships, dates, and even get married.
Where in media?
Let me start with one of the most-watched teenage musical show, Glee. An American production of kids singing and dancing to well-known shows that portray young Betty as a girl with Down Syndrome that cannot fit in highschool because of her condition. However, towards the end we see Betty applying to college and ending up having a normal life just as any other kid from high school. Another very popular series is ‘Life goes on’, which was the first-ever series to portray as the main character, Corky, with Down Syndrome played by Chris Burke who has the condition in real life too. And so, this is proof of how even there is media coverage of people with Down Syndrome, it is not only doing good which should make people, like us, take the matter into our hands and inform ourselves and never use the ‘r’ word because that is very offensive!

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