3 Common Down Syndrome Myths & The Facts

Down Syndrome Awareness Month


Happy Down Syndrome Awareness (or as we like to call it) Acceptance Month! We thought this would be a great time to talk about some common myths about Down syndrome. Some that we may or may not have thought were true before entering our own unique journey.


Myth 1: Down syndrome is hereditary.

Truth: Our friends at NDSS  share that All 3 types of Down syndrome are genetic conditions (relating to the genes), but only 1% of all cases of Down syndrome have a hereditary component (passed from parent to child through the genes). Heredity is not a factor in trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) and mosaicism. However, in one-third of cases of Down syndrome resulting from translocation, there is a hereditary component – accounting for about 1% of all cases of Down syndrome.


Myth 2: People with Down syndrome look and act alike.

Truth: NO WAY! While there are physical features that come with a Down syndrome diagnosis (hello stunning almond-shaped eyes) people with Down syndrome look more like their family members than other friends who also have Down syndrome. Also, behavior, likes, dislikes, dreams, and goals are 100% different from every person you meet. If you have met 1 person with Down syndrome, you have met 1 person.

Here is a list of some people living with Down syndrome who are chasing dreams and goals of their own.

Kayla McKeon, the first female lobbyist with Down syndrome, John Cronin from Johns Crazy Socks, Grace from Gracies Doggie Delights, Chris Nikic, training to become the first man with Down syndrome to complete an Iron Man, Jamie Brewer, an incredible actress who breaks stereotypes and shows us how amazing having inclusion in media is! (If you like scary you will love her in American Horror Story). This is just the very tip of an incredible iceberg! Every day these amazing humans are dreaming big dreams, working hard, and changing the face of our communities by showing up and adding their gifts and passions into the mix.


Myth 3: Children and adults with Down syndrome have a severe intellectual disability.

Truth: Let us just point you again to the list of incredible people in Myth 2. While an individual with Down syndrome will have some form of intellectual delay this in no way shape or form counts them out from learning and achieving. The road to success and achieving goals will look different, yes, but with support, tools, and work, there really are no limits. GiGi’s Playhouse is proud to offer a lifetime promise to families, we will come alongside you every step of the way, offering FREE programming that will build confidence and skills to help individuals living with Down syndrome achieve their goals.


We want to hear from you? What Down syndrome myths do you encounter the most or were surprised to learn the truth about?


Don’t forget to check out all the fun activities you can do with family and friends this month to help show your pride and acceptance for the Down syndrome community! Be sure to share with us by tagging GiGi’s Playhouse Syracuse on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter so we can celebrate together!




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