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About Down syndrome

Down syndrome is the most common genetic disability. There are approximately 13,000 people in Australia have Down syndrome. The birth rate for Down syndrome is one in every 1,100 births in Australia. Down syndrome is not an illness or a disease. 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. Down syndrome is named after Dr John Langdon Down who first described it. Down syndrome impacts intellectual development, some physical characteristics and aspects of a person’s physical health. Because no two people are alike, this will vary from one person to another

Most of the young people growing up with Down syndrome today will lead quite ordinary lives in the community. Some people with Down syndrome may not need much help to lead an ordinary life, while others may require a higher level of understanding and support.  It's important to know that people with Down syndrome are are individual as everyone else, with the hopes, dreams and ability to achieve their full potential.

If you are seeking informaiton and have a question or enquiry that is not answered here, please contact the team at Down Syndrome NSW on 02) 9841 4444, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Getting to know Down Syndrome NSW.  Download the brochure.