Since Down’s syndrome was recognised by John Langdon Down in 1866, attitudes towards and knowledge of the condition have progressed and become more informed.
But there’s still a way to go.
One in 1000 babies born are with Down’s syndrome and there are 40,000 indivIduals living with the condition in the UK .
Yet incorrect and hurtful terminology is still common, as are many misconceptions about the condition.
To help educate others an break down the barriers many people with Down’s syndrome face, the Down’s Syndrome Association have compiled a list of things to avoid saying and have debunked some enduring myths.
- Suffers from OR is a victim of Down’s syndrome.
- A Down’s baby/person/child
- Retarded/mentally handicapped/backward
- The RISK of a baby having Down’s syndrome (in relation to pre-natal screening and probability assessments).
- Down’s (as an abbreviation).
- Has Down’s syndrome.
- A person/baby/child with Down’s syndrome or who has Down’s syndrome.
- Learning disability.
- Condition OR genetic condition.
- The chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome.
- DS (as an abbreviation if necessary).
- People with Down’s syndrome don’t live very long.
- Only older mothers have babies with Down’s syndrome.
- People with Down’s syndrome cannot achieve normal life goals.
- People with Down’s syndrome all look the same.
- People with Down’s syndrome are always happy and affectionate.
- Today, people with Down’s syndrome can look forward to a life of 60 years plus.
- Although older mothers have a higher individual chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome, more are born to younger mothers, reflecting the higher birth rate in this age group.
- With the right support, people with Down’s syndrome can achieve normal life goals. The vast majority of people with Down’s syndrome learn to walk and talk, and many are now attending mainstream schools, passing GCSEs and living full, semi-independent adult lives.
- There are certain physical characteristics that can occur. People with Down’s syndrome can have all of them or none. A person with Down’s syndrome will always look more like his or her close family than someone else with the condition.
- We are all individuals and people with Down’s syndrome are no different to anyone else in their character traits and varying moods.