Step Up for Down Syndrome Family Festival and Awareness Walk Image

On Sunday, September 22, Consumer Direct Care Network team members and their families participated in the Step Up for Down Syndrome family festival and awareness walk in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota hosted the event as an opportunity to provide resources to families, celebrate community, and raise awareness. For more information about Down syndrome visit the National Down Syndrome Society.

According to Dr. Julia Kinder, a Down syndrome expert, one of the biggest misconceptions about people with Down syndrome is that they cannot learn and have low intelligence. In fact, IQ scores for people with Down syndrome vary, and the average cognitive delays are from mild to moderate, not severe.

In her 2019 interview with Technology Network, Dr. Kinder highlighted many facts to help clarify misconceptions about those with Down Syndrome:

  • 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to moms who are under the age of 35. 
  • Babies and toddlers can reach developmental milestones on time, or ahead of time.
  • People with Down syndrome do not have large tongues; the oral cavity is small.
  • Tongue protrusion can be prevented with the correct therapy.
  • Down syndrome is not “the opposite of up.” It was named after Dr. John Down.
  • Down syndrome is not a disease. It is a chromosomal variance.
  • Children with Down syndrome are more like typical kids than they are different.
  • Children with Down syndrome do not all look alike; they look like their families. 
  • Poor speech does not indicate low intelligence.
  • Children with Down syndrome are not always happy and loving; they experience the same full-range of emotions as any child. “If anyone doubts this,” Dr, Kinder suggests, “they are welcome to spend some time in our household with our now teenage-daughter who has an extra chromosome.”

A major step in advancing accurate information is building a collaborative community. Relationships are important to all of us and particularly those with a disability. We all have special gifts, insight, and ideas to offer.

Learn more about the event: