The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT)

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder, resulting in an extra 21st chromosome. This error in the "blueprint" of the body usually causes delays and limitations in physical and intellectual development. The extra chromosome may be derived from either the sperm or the egg. The incidence of Down syndrome in the general population is one in every 900 births, and is not related to nationality, religion, race or socio-economic status. The exact cause and prevention of Down syndrome are unknown. Many helpful services, often free or government subsidized, are available for individuals with this condition. People with Down syndrome benefit form loving homes, early intervention, integrated Education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.

Myth: Children with Down syndrome are born to women over 35.
Fact: Women under 35 years of age give birth to more than 80% of children with Down syndrome.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome all look alike and have passive, loving personalities.
Fact: While individuals with Down syndrome do have some physical features in common, they resemble their families in appearance and temperament much more than they do each other.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome don't live very long.
Fact: Approximately 30 - 40% of individuals with Down syndrome are born with heart defects and some have congenital - anomalies. Many of these defects are now correctable by surgery. The majority of individuals with Down syndrome are expected to live an average life span.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome are severely mentally disabled.
Fact: There is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down Syndrome.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome will never grow up to be independent.
Fact: Parents and society are coming to understand the aspirations of persons with Down syndrome to participate in all aspects of community life: education, recreation, employment, social and family life.
Myth: Children with Down syndrome are a financial and emotional burden to their families.
Fact: Families raising children with Down syndrome face increased challenges, but helping their children grow and develop provides the same rewards that all parents experience.

Types of Down syndrome: 

There are three types of chromosomal patterns that result in Down syndrome. They are: trisomy 21, translocation and mosaicism.
For more information on the types of Down syndrome please visit the following links:  

Types of Down syndrome from CDSS

Types of Down syndrome from the Mayo Clinic


Additional Information on Down Syndrome 

From the AboutKidsHealth website:  Read More . . .

From the March of Dimes website:  Read More . . .

From the KidHealth website:  Read More . . .

From the website: Read More . . .

From the website: Read More . . .

From Down Syndrome: Health Issues: Read More . . .


PO Box 40039
Liberty Village PO
Toronto ON M5V 0K7

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Date of incorporating: 28 April 1987

Buddy Walk