What Is Down Syndrome Day?
World Down Syndrome Day is observed annually to raise awareness about the disease known as Down Syndrome. This day is all about supporting down syndrome-affected individuals and their families.
Countries that observe World Down Syndrome Day
This occasion is observed all around the world. However, the biggest events take place in New York, where the UN office is situated, and in Geneva, Switzerland.
What is Down Syndrome?
Down Syndrome is a rare medical condition that refers to a person born with Trisomy. Trisomy is a medical term for being born with an extra chromosome or, more specifically, chromosome 21. For this, Down Syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21. It might not seem like a huge problem, but sadly it is.
This extra chromosome is responsible for changing and altering how a baby develops, especially its brain and body. It causes the child to be born with mental and physical problems and challenges. As a result, as these children grow up, they require extra help compared to regular children.
On average, 6000 children are only born yearly with Down Syndrome in the US. It is estimated that 1 in every 700 babies is born with this condition. Studies show these individuals have some uncommon physical features and lower IQs.
History of World Down Syndrome day
Understanding the severity of this problem, the United Nations General Assembly announced March 21 of every year as World Down syndrome day. Although the day we celebrate is March 21, the declaration came in December 2011.
- Down Syndrome Association Singapore took the first-ever step. They launched and hosted the first-ever website for World Down Syndrome Day. This event occurred in 2006.
- After Singapore, Brazil created its organization for down syndrome, named it The Brazilian Federation of Association of Down Syndrome International, and kept working to gather more support for the cause.
- After Singapore and Brazil's efforts, Poland also started working on the down syndrome campaign. The Brazil-Poland joint made it to the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, November 10, 2011.
- The various groups of down syndrome and associations all over the world started asking for funding and sponsorships from their governments so that they could facilitate the cause. 78 UN member states later co-financed this particular cause.
- The Down Syndrome International (DSI) collected 12000 signs within 14 days and submitted them to the chairman of the third committee so that the chair could sign the petition and adopt World Down Syndrome Day as an UNendorsed event.
After the application, the United Nations granted the petition and declared March 21 as World Down Syndrome in the presence of all the member states. The UN also asked the relevant organizations, including various public and private organizations, to help build awareness and support the cause of Down Syndrome Day.
How To Celebrate Down Syndrome Day?
Spend Quality Time with Down Syndrome Patients
Sure donating money is helpful and a great way to celebrate Down Syndrome day, but what if I told you that there are other ways to celebrate the day that will be helpful and, at the same time, a memorable experience for you and the patients?
It's simple, spend some quality time with them.
Unlike regular people, those with disabilities often find it very difficult to socialize. And even when they try to socialize, they often find themselves victims of bullying, neglect, and ridicule. But the sad part is, often, the very source of this bullying and negligence is their own family and relatives. As a result, these people feel lonely and depressed most of the time.
We often forget that we all are human beings; just because someone has a disability or condition doesn't make them any less human than the rest of us. These affected people, too, feel the need for human interaction and affection. They crave and desire the same things any healthy person would.
Spending quality time with them solves this problem.
For instance, you can play some fun games like ludo, cards, and chess with them on this day. You can also do karaoke with them and release that singer that only exists in the shower with a shampoo bottle as a microphone! Besides playing games, watching movies can also be an option. And as the cherry on top, you can even order some pizza and popcorn and have an authentic movie theater experience with them.
These may not seem like much, but trust me, this will make them happy in ways you and I can't imagine. It could very well be one of the very few instances in their lives when they enjoyed themselves and felt normal for a change.
Raise Awareness and Educate
While not all of us have countless followers on social media, one thing we all can do is inform and educate our friends and family about this day. It's simple: start a conversation with your friends, co-workers, or even that neighbor you don't talk to. And tell them about Down Syndrome Day. It is that easy. Again this may not seem like much, but that is how you raise awareness by educating others about things they didn't know about.
Go Blue and Yellow
The official color for the word down syndrome day is yellow and blue. Balloons, cakes, dresses, or lighting can help incorporate this day.
Fund A Patient
Down syndrome patients have to go through much specialized medical treatment. Among them are occupational therapy, speech therapy, physiotherapy, and many more. Even if it is for only one day, a try to fund a patient, this little gesture will go a long way.
Interesting Facts About International Down Syndrome Day:
- Down syndrome is a rare human condition where a child takes birth with the same extra version of chromosome 21.
- The reason behind this extra copy of a chromosome is yet to be identified.
- 1 child among 800-1000 worldwide and 691(in the United States alone) gets birth with down syndrome.
- In the USA alone, an estimated 400000 people are down syndrome affected.
- At today's age, the average life expectancy of a person with down syndrome person is 60.
- Down syndrome-affected children need special schooling and an education system.
- Most down syndrome children are given birth by women under 35.
- A rough estimation says that 25% of USA families have at least one member with Down Syndrome.
World Down Syndrome Quotes
"Having Down syndrome is like being born normal. I am like you and you are just like me. We are all born in different ways. That is way I can describe it. I have a normal life." - Chris Burke, American Actor and Folk Singer.
"Aren't we all human? Don't we all deserve to be respected and treated equally?"- Madeline Stuart, Australian Catwalk Model.
Down Syndrome day is a day for celebration and raising awareness. This celebration should only be done with other people with down syndrome because it's all about making them happy and making their already complicated lives easier. We all should understand that no one chooses to have Down Syndrome or is guilty of having it; they were born with it and had no control over it. So it automatically becomes our responsibility to ensure they have an easier life.
If any of your loved ones suffers from Down Syndrome, please treat them appropriately, even if you are not related to them. They deserve to be treated with respect and affection like any individual with disabilities. After all, if we as humans are not compassionate towards our kind, then that makes us worse than animals!
World Down Syndrome Day Observances
|2021||Sunday||21 March||World Down Syndrome Day|
|2022||Monday||21 March||World Down Syndrome Day|
|2023||Tuesday||21 March||World Down Syndrome Day|
|2024||Thursday||21 March||World Down Syndrome Day|
|2025||Friday||21 March||World Down Syndrome Day|
|2026||Saturday||21 March||World Down Syndrome Day|
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