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It’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month- but what does that specifically mean?

Scientifically speaking, “DS is a congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile. It arises from a defect involving chromosome 21, usually an extra copy (trisomy-21)." Non-scientifically, DS is described as a “set of physical and mental traits caused by a gene mutation that happens before birth. Children who have Down syndrome tend to have certain features, such as a flat face and a short neck. They also have some degree of intellectual disability. This varies from person to person. But in most cases it is mild to moderate. Down syndrome is a lifelong condition. But with care and support, children who have Down syndrome can grow up to have healthy, happy, productive lives."

How many are affected?In the US, an estimated 400,000 people are living with DS.

What are some common myths? Life expectancy, cognitive ability, intelligence- DS is clouded my several myths, most of which simply aren’t true. Learn more about myths and break down the stigma at this information site: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-myths-about-down-syndrome.html

What can we do to help this month and always?There are many ways to show your support for DS. This month, you can participate is DS awareness walks, and you can help by educating yourself and your family and learning how to be compassionate towards DS people and their families. For a long-term approach, you can volunteer at the Special Olympics, which provides opportunities to help children with special needs flourish in numerous athletic events.

At PlayAbility Toys, we are proud to offer a multitude of toys that are down syndrome-friendly. Our Zorp Rocket, for example, helps with speech and fine motor skills. This month, we are taking 10% off of our popular Rib-It ball and Whole Picture games in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Be sure to take advantage of this offer and help someone you know and love who lives with Down Syndrome.

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