Did you know October is Down Syndrome awareness month? Inspired by Little Bipsy’s “Give Back with Gratitude” and our mission to spread that gratitude to everyone, I decided to look into the incredible Down Syndrome community, what this month means to others and ways to celebrate. So here’s 13 things I learned along the way.
1. To spread awareness, many take part in 21 random acts of kindness. This number is representative of Down Syndrome's alternate name, Trisomy 21.
2. Down syndrome is a condition that results from a person being born with an extra chromosome, 47 as opposed to the usual 46. This was discovered by french geneticist and pediatrician Jerome Lejeune in the 1950’s.
3. This 47th bundle of chromosomes is often referred to as “chromosome 21” making the number 21 very significant to the community.
4. Join or Host a Buddy Walk! The Buddy Walk is a program established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to promote inclusion of the community. Check the link to find when a buddy walk is happening near you!
5. While Down Syndrome Awareness Month is in October, World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21st.
6. Down Syndrome Awareness is represented by the colors yellow and blue.
7. About 1 in every 700 babies are born with down syndrome, totaling about 6000 in a year.
8. Shop small businesses that support or are owned by people with Down Syndrome! Here’s a list created by the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee of small businesses all over the country!
9. Wearing mismatched socks is a fun way to show solidarity and celebrate the community. This is because images of chromosomes resemble colorful pairs of socks with chromosome 21 having an extra.
11. Down Syndrome Was named after English physician John Langdon Down in 1862.
12. Support stories shared through social media! Taylinn Brost and her son Aspen (This blog post’s cover star) are a great example. Taylinn has been generous enough to share her family’s story and Aspen’s incredible adventures through Instagram.
13. Chris Burke of television’s “Life Goes On” fame is considered America’s first actor with Down Syndrome. Since then there have been a number of actors who are a part of the community.
Written by Noël Nephew
Research + References
“Down Syndrome Awareness Month - October.” National Today, 9 Aug. 2021, https://nationaltoday.com/down-syndrome-awareness-month/.
“Down Syndrome Awareness Month.” SpecialOlympics.org, SpecialOlympics.org, 4 Oct. 2022, https://www.specialolympics.org/stories/news/down-syndrome-awareness-month.
“Twelve Facts for down Syndrome Awareness Month.” Pediatric Associates of Franklin, 30 Sept. 2022, https://www.pediatricsoffranklin.com/practice-news/twelve-facts-for-down-syndrome-awareness-month/.