World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day observed on 21 March every year.

Approximately 1 in 1100 babies born in Australia will have Down syndrome. This means approximately 290 babies with Down syndrome are born each year.

Down syndrome is the most common genetic disability. Down syndrome is caused when a person is born with an extra chromosome. People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of 46. They have an extra chromosome 21, which is why Down syndrome is sometimes known as trisomy 21.

People with Down syndrome may have:

  • Areas of strength and other areas where they need more support
  • Some level of intellectual disability
  • Some characteristic physical features
  • Increased risk of some health conditions (many of which are treatable)
  • Some developmental delays

Talking to people with Down syndrome:

  • Use plain language and speak respectfully.
  • Try not to make assumptions about how much the person can understand
  • Assume competence. Give people a chance to show how capable they are
  • Speak directly to the person with Down syndrome, not the person with them
  • Give them time to respond. Take their lead on what support they need to communicate
  • Know that every person with Down syndrome is unique, with their individual personality, strengths and support needs

For more information visit Down Syndrome Australia 

Download Fact Sheet(PDF, 2MB)