Down Syndrome

Dashiell has Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21. People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of Chromosome 21 — those extra genes give people with Down syndrome some similar physical characteristics.

Nice to Know

Down syndrome is named after the English doctor, John Langdon Down, who was the first to categorize the common features of people with the condition.

People with Down syndrome are no longer institutionalized, lifespan has more than doubled, and mainstream Americans strongly believe in the human and civil rights for people with the condition.

Many people with Down syndrome work, volunteer and vote.

People with Down syndrome often have difficulty with their muscles, making clear speech difficult.

People with Down syndrome increasingly live independently or in an assisted independent arrangement, work in competitive employment, and get married.

In the U.S. many people with Down syndrome complete high school, more are going on to a postsecondary education and a handful have even received graduate degrees. An increasing number of colleges and universities have programs that are specifically designed for differently-abled students. Go to for a list of post-secondary programs and resources.

People with Down syndrome often have particularly beautiful eyes with Brushfield spots.

Preferred Language

The correct term is “person with Down syndrome” (not a Downs or Down syndrome person).

People with Down syndrome have an intellectual disability (not a mental disability).

The r-word is as offensive as the n-word or any other racial, ethnic, homophobic or sexist slur.

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