world down syndrome day

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world down syndrome day

Mize Elementary second grader Ben Meehan, who has Down Syndrome,  works on writing his numbers in his classroom.

Mize Elementary second grader Ben Meehan, who has Down Syndrome, works on writing his numbers in his classroom.

Mize Elementary second grader Ben Meehan, who has Down Syndrome, works on writing his numbers in his classroom.

Mize Elementary second grader Ben Meehan, who has Down Syndrome, works on writing his numbers in his classroom.

Maddie Meehan, Staff reporter

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World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated on March 21, and is a day where people can show awareness to what Down Syndrome is, what it means to have the disorder and how people with Down Syndrome play an important role in the lives of people around the world.

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder in which a person is born with an appearance of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. Every person is born with 23 pairs of chromosomes, which means they have 46 chromosomes all together. People born with Down Syndrome have 47 chromosomes because the 21st pair has three instead of just two.

The world celebrates this day on March 21st because March is the third month and the 21st day to match with the third copy of chromosome 21.

This disorder can bring physical growth delays, mild to moderate cognitive disability and characteristic face features. Around 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down Syndrome every year.

           WDSD was observed in 2006 in a variety of countries around the world. The Down Syndrome association in Singapore created and kept track of the official WDSD website from 2006-10 so worldwide activities could be recorded. Then, on Dec. 19 of 2011, the the United Nations announced March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day.

Since people with Down Syndrome often struggle with mental disabilities, they generally get left behind in social situations. These certain situations are why most organizations who help raise awareness have made a pledge that helps people to understand the importance of people with Down Syndrome. The pledge simply states that “no one gets left behind.”

Even if someone doesn’t have Down Syndrome, they can still support this day and the pledge by wearing crazy socks. Crazy socks are worn because they look similar to the chromosomes, which helps remind others that people with this disorder have one more extra chromosome.

      People with Down Syndrome are just like anyone else and should be treated as so. This day will help make sure “no one gets left behind”.

 

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