Being aware of Down’s Syndrome is about understanding and learning, the Down’s Syndrome Association have supplied us with some facts about the condition that you may not be aware of…

Down’s Syndrome – did you know…?

  • Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome.
  • There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK with the condition.
  • Although the chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome is higher for older mothers, more babies with Down’s syndrome are born to younger women.
  • Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. It occurs by chance at conception and is irreversible.
  • Down’s syndrome is not a disease. People with Down’s syndrome are not ill and do not “suffer” from the condition.
  • People with the syndrome will have a degree of learning difficulty. However, most people with Down’s syndrome will walk and talk and many will read and write, go to ordinary schools and lead fulfilling, semi-independent lives.
  • Today the average life expectancy for a person with Down’s syndrome is between 50 and 60. A considerable number of people with Down’s syndrome live into their 60s and beyond.

Not only that, but without meaning to, you could be causing offence – here are some acceptable and unacceptable ways of talking about Down’s Syndrome….

Don’t Say

Do say

Mongol person/baby/child with Down’s syndrome
suffers from OR is a victim of Down’s syndrome  has Down’s syndrome
a Down’s baby/person/child  a person/baby/child with Down’s syndrome or who has Down’s syndrome
 retarded/mentally handicapped/backward learning disability
 disease/illness/handicap  condition OR genetic condition
the risk of a baby having Down’s syndrome
(in relation to pre-natal screening and probability assessments)
the chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome


There are some great videos made by and about people with Down’s syndrome who are already active and involved in their local communities along with factsheets about inclusion and school activities on the Down’s Syndrome Association website.