The Lots of Socks campaign is just one of the ways we get the world talking about Down syndrome on United Nations World Down Syndrome Day, 21st March 2020. This campaign was started by Down Syndrome International, to encourage people to start a conversation about diversity, uniqueness, inclusion and acceptance, of people with Down syndrome.
The chromosomes look like socks, thus giving birth to the idea of a worldwide campaign using socks. When persons see you wearing mismatched colourful socks, they will want to ask why, as it’s not the normal thing to do, then you have an opportunity to explain.
Just because they don’t naturally go together doesn’t mean they can’t be friends. These mismatched socks also teach kids to embrace their differences, and those of their peers. By wearing mismatched socks, decidedly not a societal norm, kids are also being taught that it’s cool to stand out by breaking the mold.
FACTS ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME
(National Down Syndrome Society)
- Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
- There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4%, and mosaicism accounts for about 1%.
- Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year.
- Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels
- The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age
- People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives
- A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are: low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all
- Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today
- People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote and contribute to society in many wonderful ways
- All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses
- Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to lead fulfilling and productive lives
Through the Down Syndrome Family Network, we are working to provide a medium in which parents and caregivers of persons with Down syndrome are able to access the resources, support and answers they need to educate and develop the full potential of individuals with Down syndrome throughout their lives. It is our goal to collaborate with all institutions, organizations and associations to ensure that parents and caregivers are equipped with the necessary tools needed to effectively protect, support, and empower persons with Down syndrome to a life of independence. It is our sincere belief that children and adults with Down syndrome need, not only to live as normal a life as possible, but to actually be valued members of the community.