Besides people with Autism we will also have young adults with Down Syndrome. People’s understanding of down syndrome can be confusing, so let’s delve into it and explain it.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a third copy of your 21st chromosome. Instead of having 46 chromosomes, people with down syndrome have 47.

Down syndrome can affect your muscle tone, in being that people with down syndrome usually have a low muscle tone. This means that it is harder for them to walk, move or even talk. Speech therapy can really help to change this however.

Their memory usually is not as good as ours. They forget things quicker, and because of that it takes them longer to do certain things. But just because their memory is different from ours, it doesn’t mean that they don’t learn like us. They learn in the exact same ways, by: repetition, imitation and problem solving. The only difference is that it takes them slightly longer, which is ok.

When you speak to someone with down syndrome, don’t treat them like a baby. It’s important to speak a bit slower, but that doesn’t mean that they are dumb. They are worth the wait, so have patience just 10 seconds longer, and they will surprise you.

Previously we spoke about autism. Both down syndrome and autism describe only the disorder, but that is not what they are – it is just part of what makes them individual. It is not a disease, and neither is it contagious – you are just born with it.

Our youngsters with down syndrome love to give hugs. They are very happy and sociable. When they accept you for exactly who you are, they will support you no matter what and love you forever.

Written by Wendy Vermeulen and Wade Schultz.

Published by Wade Schultz.