Every day at Nonotuck, we help people with physical and intellectual disabilities live full and vibrant lives. In October, we observe Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The month is a chance to celebrate people with Down syndrome, to advocate for acceptance and inclusion for them, and to raise public awareness about the condition.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. It occurs when a person is born with a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. There are three types of Down syndrome, with trisomy 21 being the most common.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 6,000 babies — or about 1 in every 700 babies — are born with Down syndrome each year.
Just like everyone, people with Down syndrome have many different abilities. They participate in community activities, hold down jobs, pursue personal goals, and form authentic, loving and respectful relationships. Many people with Down syndrome graduate from high school with diplomas and go on to pursue post-secondary education.
“People with Down syndrome are active participants in educational, social and recreational activities,” writes the NDSS. “They are included in the typical education system and take part in sports, music, art programs and many other activities in the community. People with Down syndrome are valued members of their families and communities, and make meaningful contributions to society.”
There are many organizations around the U.S. that support people with Down syndrome and their families. Here are just a few:
Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.