Did You Know?

  • Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome.
  • There are 60,000 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 60?s.

Down’s syndrome ‘Dos and Don’ts!’

Don’t Say

Do Say

Mongol Person, baby or 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 or backward Learning disability
Disease, illness or 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



People with Down’s syndrome don’t live very long. Today, people with Down’s syndrome can look forward to a life of 60 years or more.
Only older mothers have babies with Down’s syndrome. Although older mothers have a higher individual chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome, more are born to younger mothers, reflecting the higher birth rate in this group.
People with Down’s syndrome cannot achieve normal life goals. With the right support, they can. The vast majority of people with Down’s syndrome learn to walk, talk and many are now attending mainstream schools, passing GCSEs and living full, semi-indendent adult lives.
People with Down’s syndrome all look the same. There are certain physical characteristics tha can occur. People with Down’s syndrome can have all of them or none of them. A person with Down’s syndrome will always look more like his or her close family than someone else with the condition.
People with Down’s syndrome are always happy and affectionate. We are all individuals and people with Down’s syndrome are no different to anyone else in their character traits and varying moods.