Alan Foundation | Myths and Facts
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Myths and Facts

When speaking about issues relating to Down syndrome in a way that is both factually accurate and inoffensive to the general public, including people with Down syndrome and their families, please consider the table below:


    • People with Down syndrome do not live very long.
    • Only older mothers have babies with Down syndrome
    • People with Down syndrome cannot achieve normal life goals
    • People with Down syndrome all look the same
    • People with Down syndrome are always happy and affectionate


    • Today, people with Down syndrome can look forward to a long life given the right medical attention
    • Although older mothers have a higher individual chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, more are born to younger mothers, reflecting the higher birth rate in this age group
    • With the right support, they can. Most people with Down syndrome learn to walk and talk, and many are now attending mainstream schools, passing exams and living full, semi-independent adult lives
    • There are certain physical characteristics that can occur. People with Down syndrome can have all of them or none. A person with Down syndrome will always look more like his or her close family than someone else with the condition
    • We are all individuals and people with Down syndrome are no different to anyone else in their character traits and varying moods