Most asked questions about Down Syndrome. 

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, instead of the usual two copies.  This extra chromosome leads to issues that affect both the cognitive and physical ability of an individual.  Although the cognitive abilities will vary, most have mild to moderate cognitive issues as well as some delay in development. 

In Canada, approximately 1 in 781 births result in a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. 

Nothing can be done to cause or prevent conceiving a baby with Down Syndrome.  A baby with Down Syndrome can be born to a mother of any age. 

No – you did not do anything to cause your baby to be born with Down Syndrome.  Individuals born with Down Syndrome are born with an extra chromosome. 

No.  The extra chromosome will remain within an individual throughout their lifespan. 

Although individuals with Down Syndrome may share similar physical features, they usually look like other members of their families. 

Early intervention including physical, occupational and speech therapy will assist your baby’s progress.  Also, talk to other parents as they are often the best source of information for resources and programs.  

Yes – unless there is another condition that is present. 

Yes – many adults live independently or with roommates.  Depending on their level of independence, they may require no support, some support or full-time support. 

Due to healthcare advances, many individuals with Down Syndrome live into their 60’s.