World Down Syndrome Day is almost upon us and although I don’t have any cute pictures to share of Nathan, I thought I’d share 21 facts about Down syndrome that you may or may not know.

1) 3/21 is World Down Syndrome Day! This day was chosen to symbolize the third copy of chromosome 21 in Trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome. Do something extra in celebration of those with an extra copy of chromosome 21! 

 2) Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Raise awareness and celebrate people with Down syndrome this March 21! 

 3) There are three types of Down syndrome.  95% of people with Down syndrome have Trisomy 21, a full additional copy of chromosome 21, 5% of people with Down syndrome have translocation or mosaicism, and have partial additional copies in all or some cells. Honor all people with Down syndrome this March 21!   

 4) The life expectancy for people with Down syndrome was 25 in 1983 and is 60 today. There’s much to celebrate this World Down Syndrome Day!  

 5) There are over 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States. Raise awareness for each and every one on March 21! 

 6)  One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome. Celebrate them on World Down Syndrome Day this March 21! 

7) People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first! Read the NDSS preferred language guide and share it in honor of World Down Syndrome Day. 

 8) 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, but these are not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses! 

 9) NDSS distributes A Promising Future Together: A Guide for New and Expectant Parents to anyone who receives a Down syndrome diagnosis pre or post-natally. Raise awareness for people with Down syndrome this March 21!  

 10) 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 develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives – do something extra this World Down Syndrome Day in honor of everyone with an extra 21st chromosome! 

11) Over 285,000 people participate in over 250 Buddy Walks® across 50 states each year. That’s a lot of celebrating people with Down syndrome! 

12) People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways. Celebrate these abilities and achievements for World Down Syndrome Day! 

 13) People with Down syndrome visit both typical doctors and specialists. NDSS provides healthcare guidelines to help the process throughout the lifespan. Celebrate people with Down syndrome at all stages of life on March 21! 

 14) Children with Down syndrome are often fully included in social and educational settings and increasingly go on to graduate high school and attend postsecondary education programs. Celebrate these achievements on March 21! 

 15) Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus (CDSC) has over 70 Members of the House of Representatives, and is led by Reps. McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Pete Sessions (R- TX), Van Hollen (D-MD), and Holmes Norton (D-DC). The mission of the CDSC is to educate Members of Congress and their staff about Down syndrome. The Caucus supports legislative activities that would improve Down syndrome research, education and treatment and promotes public policies that enhance the quality of life for those with Down syndrome. Join forces with the CDSC and advocates for people with Down syndrome by signing up to receive advocacy action alerts from NDSS! 

16) People with Down syndrome have their own unique talents and abilities – just like everybody else! Celebrate their accomplishments this World Down Syndrome Day. 

 17) Many children with Down syndrome are included in regular education classrooms alongside their peers.  Research has shown that this has positive effects on the academic and social experiences of students with and without disabilities. Celebrate inclusion this World Down Syndrome Day!   

 18) There are over 400 real-life stories written by people with Down syndrome, their family members, friends, teachers, peers and coworkers in the My Great Story public awareness campaign. Read those in the collection and share yours in honor of World Down Syndrome Day! 

 19) People with Down syndrome are often subject to unfair stereotypes. Right the wrongs and separate fact from fiction with the NDSS Myths and Truths Guide and celebrate all people with Down syndrome this March 21! 

 20) The bipartisan, bicameral Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) of 2011 (S. 1872/H.R. 3423) was introduced on Nov. 15th, 2011. The bill, which is supported by 83 Representatives and 9 Senators, gives individuals with disabilities and their families the ability to save for their child’s future just like every other American family! 

21) This is the first year that World Down Syndrome Day is officially recognized by the United Nations! Join the global celebration and let everyone know that people with Down syndrome should be valued, accepted and included! 

How are you going to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day this year??