Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (Edefines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Annual awareness observances are sponsored by federal, health and non-profit organizations. Awareness campaigns serve the purpose of informing and educating people on a certain causes. Each year, the number of special needs organizations bringing awareness to specific disabilities and disorders seem to grow. Awareness activities range from one day to a month.
Here is a calendar of major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets. Since it is still early in the year, some of the campaigns still have 2018 campaigns on their websites. I will add new information once the changes are up on the websites.
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
May 8-14- Brain Injury Awareness Week
July 15- Disability Pride Parade (NY)
July 15- Disability Awareness Day (UK)
September 7- World Duchenne Awareness Day
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
OCD Awareness Week
National Physical Therapy Month
Special Needs Law Month
November 7- National Stress Awareness Day
Sequence is defined as a set of related events, movements, or things that follow each other in a particular order. For many children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities, the ability to arrange thoughts, information and language may be a challenge due to issues with their executive function capabilities. The following resources, tips and strategies will help you teach sequencing skills.
Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal disorder due to 3 copies of chromosome 21, causing a number of developmental delays, medical and physical disabilities. Learning is one of the areas that is affected by the disorder. Children born with Down syndrome typically have delays in the area of gross and fine motor skills, thinking, short attention span, speech and language difficulties and sequencing. The following links and resources include information on tips and strategies for teaching children with Down syndrome for both parents and teachers.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Down syndrome is defined as a genetic disorder caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. I have included articles that I have posted over the years to help educate others. Please feel free to share on other social media sites.
Facts and Statistics
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that develops when there is an abnormal cell division resulting in an extra copy of chromosome 21.
- There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4%, and mosaicism accounts for about 1%
- Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year
- Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels
- The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age
- People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives
- A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are: low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all
- Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today
- People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote and contribute to society in many wonderful ways
- All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses
- The incidence of Down syndrome is between I in 1000 to 1 in 1,100 live birth worldwide.
- Each year, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome.
- 60-80% of children with Down syndrome having hearing issues
- 40-45% of children with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease
- The life expectancy increased slowly from 1900 to 1960 (by 89%) but rapidly grew from 1960 to 2007 (456%)
Life Expectancy by Race
- Whites with Down syndrome in the United States had a median death at the age of 50 in 1997 compared to 25 years for African Americans and 11 for people of other races
According to the CDC, Down Syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder. Each year 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome which is estimated to be about 1 in every 700 babies. Here is a timeline showing Down syndrome progression over the years:
Down Syndrome Timeline
1866- British Physician John Langdon Down, first described the genetic disorder as “Mongoloid” based on patients similar characteristics.
1876- An initial association between premature “senility” and Down syndrome is discovered.
1929- Life expectancy is approximately 9 years of age
1932- Abnormal distribution of chromosomes was first suggested as the cause of Down syndrome.
1946- Life expectancy is approximately 12 years of age.
1948- Evidence between Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome is first published.
1959- Dr. Jerome Lejeune discovered Down syndrome is the result of an abnormality in the chromosomes.
1959- The term Trisomy 21 is used on the medical community to describe Down syndrome.
1960- Researchers discover a type of trisomy called translocation
1961- Researchers discover a type pf trisomy called Mosaicism.
1965- The World Health Organization (WHO) accepts the name Down syndrome as the standard name to use.
1970- Life expectancy is approximately 25 years of age.
1976- Amniocentesis comes into common use in the United States
1987- A gene associated with Alzheimer disease is discovered on Chromosome 21
1994- CDC announces he prevalence of Down syndrome from 1893-1990 was 1 in 1087.
1997- Life expectancy is approximately 49 years of age.
2006- Life expectancy is approximately 60 years of age
Today is World Down Syndrome Day. A campaign designed to create a single voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. Resources on this page include information on inspiring articles and facts on people with Down Syndrome.
Post From Special Needs Resource Blog:
Down Syndrome Organizations
Band of Angels: http://www.bandofangels.com/-
Established in 1994, Band of Angels provides support for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. The website offers links on Down Syndrome support groups and a litany of topics including, adoption, autism and education.
Down Syndrome International https://www.ds-int.org/
A U.K. based international organization comprising a membership of individuals and organizations from all over the world. Disseminates information on Down Syndrome including prenatal diagnosis, early intervention, education, medical, health, employment, aging and human rights. Down Syndrome International also promoted World Down Syndrome Day (March 21) as a day dedicated to people with Down Syndrome.
Global Down Syndrome http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/
Provides fundraising, education and governmental advocacy for the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. Resources available on the website include, information on research, medical care and facts on Down Syndrome.
International Down Syndrome Coalition: http://theidsc.org/
Dedicated to helping and advocating for individuals with Down syndrome from conception and throughout life. Offers support to parents who are new to the Down syndrome diagnosis by connecting parents to each other.
National Association for Down Syndrome http://www.nads.org/
NADS is the oldest organization in the United States serving individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Also provides families with information and resources that will enable them to access appropriate services and educates the public about Down syndrome.
National Down Syndrome Congress http://www.ndsccenter.org/
The purpose of the NDSC is to promote the interests of people with Down syndrome and their families through advocacy, public awareness, and information. When we empower individuals and families from all demographic backgrounds, we reshape the way people understand and experience Down syndrome.
National Down Syndrome Society http://www.ndss.org/
NDSS provides resources to new and expectant parents and offers a toll-free helpline and email services. NDSS also focuses on transitions , wellness and education
The following are articles highlighting stories around the country on Down syndrome:
Studies show that 5 to 39% of children with Down syndrome are also on the autism spectrum. There are overlaps in some of the symptoms which delays the signs and symptoms of autism. This observation is slowly growing and informing parents to look for specific signs and symptoms.
The importance of getting the diagnosis
Most often children with Down syndrome are treated for the characteristics of having Down syndrome which overlooks giving children the appropriate treatment for Autism such as social skills and sensory issues. A child or young adult with both diagnosis will likely experience aggressive behaviors, meltdowns, and show signs of regression during their early development. The following are signs and symptoms to look for in your child, or student:
- Hand flapping
- Picky eater
- Fascination with lights
- Staring at ceiling fans
- History of regression
- Head banging
- Strange vocalization
- Seizure Disorder
If you suspect your child is dual diagnosed, make an appointment for a medical work up which should include:
- audiological evaluation
- lead test
- complete blood count (CBC)
- Liver function test