Today is World Down syndrome Day. It is marked each year on March 21st. The day is celebrated since 2006. There is a reason why it takes place on 21st, as it is because Down syndrome results from a third copy of the 21st chromosome (3/21) i.e. it’s the triplication of the 21st chromosome. That’s what makes people with Down syndrome special.
The purpose of celebrating this day is to raise the voice for the rights and the inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Efforts are made by various associations of parents, activists, medical fraternity to spread the awareness about Down syndrome and should treat the person with this disorder with care and respect.This day is a way to help those who struggle with this condition and inform society of the advances in the treatment for them.
WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME ?
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which causes delay in developmental milestones and difficulties in cognitive learning in the growth of the child, which results in lower IQ. As per genetic studies every cell in a normal person’s body comprises of 46 chromosomes in pairs of 23 each of X and Y. These X and Y chromosomes are received from the parents – X (received from mother) and Y (received from father). However, due to a variety of reasons, there is an extra X or Y that attaches itself to the 21st chromosome, which is the reason of Down syndrome.
According to various researches and genetic studies, it is obvious that this disorder is not curable but it’s our responsibility to treat the person with special care and should encourage them to become independent and productive citizens of the society. The dilemma of our society is that such persons are treated as mentally retarded, they are subject of ridicule. We all should be ashamed of such act.
On behalf of NAYS-Pakistan, we want people with Down syndrome to be accepted more in the community by informing people and giving them awareness. People with this disorder are functional and a part of our society and people who have Downs deserve the best life possible. World Down Syndrome Day highlights the fact that people with this disability can do many things and have different levels of functioning. They deserve our help to have the best lives they can have.
For further reading:
Article compiled by: Sundeela Fayyaz