Down Syndrome can affect any baby, and is manifested by physical and
mental traits. Down syndrome is a result of a disorder of chromosome
21. It manifests itself with certain features, such as flat face and
short neck. Also, intellectual disability has been noted, however
this can differ vastly from person to person. Although there is no
known cure, with care and support, children with Down syndrome can
lead happy and healthy and productive lives. Testing is often done
during pregnancy to see if there is a risk for Down syndrome.
Someone with Down syndrome may require physical therapy, occupational
therapy, or counselling. Down syndrome is named after a British doctor – John Langdon Down – who described the symptoms in 1866. As an
adult, someone with Down syndrome may have an IQ comparable to that of a child age 8 or 9. They are also at higher risk for epileptic
seizures. In Israel, there are groups that exist to support families who have a family member with Down syndrome, offering support in
various ways. For example, they may help the family get relevant information, provide tips about legal rights, and education parents.
Another important thing that advocacy groups in Israel do is to translate important studies into Hebrew. Some parents in Israel only speak
Hebrew, and otherwise would not be aware of these studies. As such, having modern studies or reports from around the world translated into
Hebrew would be of immense value to the parents. Down syndrome has gained awareness in Israel, and has become accepted by Israeli society –
for example, World Down Syndrome Day was established with cooperation between Israel’s National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development and the Singapore Down Syndrome Association. This day is held every year on March 21st. This day has been recognized by the
United Nations and was made a permanent annual world event.