World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), which falls on March 21, is a World Awareness Day that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The goal of Down Syndrome Day is to raise awareness that people with Down Syndrome can be integrated into society, to make their voices heard And fight for their rights.
The date 21 in the third month (March), was chosen to mark the uniqueness of the trisomy 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is due to the fact that in the DNA of every cell in the body there are three copies of chromosome number 21, instead of only two. The syndrome was first described by John Langdon Down in 1866 and is therefore named after him.
Down syndrome sufferers usually have a unique appearance that includes slanted eyes, small ears, a flat face and a broad forehead, straight hair, a short neck and a lower-than-average height. They used to be called Mongols because of their resemblance to the Mongol people.
People with Down Syndrome may also suffer from low IQ, between 40 and 75 IQ, childishness and lack of independence and verbal impairment. They may also have heart defects. The syndrome cannot be cured, but the syndrome can be diagnosed already in pregnancy, using ultrasound tests: in Nuchal scan tests and systems review and in amniotic fluid test.
In recent years, there has been progress in the treatment methods for children who have Down Syndrome and they are able to achieve achievements that allow some of them to integrate into society. Their life expectancy now stands at 60 years, unlike previous years (in the 1980s it was only 25). In order for them to be able to progress and recover, they need adapted medical care, a normative and enriching environment and intensive care from an early age.