MEDIA CONTACTJeff Powell, (402) 471-6223,Jeff.Powell@Nebraska.Gov
Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recognizes the month of October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month to help raise public awareness about the condition, and advocate for acceptance, understanding, and helping people with Down syndrome live better lives in communities across our state.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition and developmental disability that is usually caused by an extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome. It is estimated that more than 400,000 individuals in the United States have Down syndrome and about 1 in 800 babies are born with the condition.
People with Down syndrome are just like everyone else. They have similar dreams and goals and want to have successful careers and families. They can drive, go to work, go to college, and be active contributing members of society. In addition, advances in medical care and research throughout the years have resulted in better overall health outcomes. As a result, future opportunities for people with Down syndrome have improved significantly in recent years.
“Increased awareness and better inclusion of people with Down syndrome in daily life have improved public attitudes and acceptance. As a result, they are thriving as active and valued members of the community. It's important we continue our progress of acceptance," said Developmental Disabilities Division Director Tony Green.
There is support out there for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Below is a list of support organizations in Nebraska:
The Munroe-Meyer Institute provides a number of services including diagnosis and genetic counseling and can suggest early intervention programs and other services to address a child's specific situation. The institute has offices in over 40 locations throughout the state including Omaha and also in Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff on a quarterly basis.
National Information Resources: