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Research Advocacy Education

DownSyndrome Achieves (DSA) takes a fresh and proactive approach toward advocacy. Along with creating a welcoming community of support for individuals and families living with Down syndrome, we're aggressively advancing research, legislation and education.

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A new beginning.

Discovering that your child has Down syndrome can be one of the most challenging experiences a parent faces. What now? Where do you begin? Chances are your circle of friends doesn’t include other parents who have a child with Down syndrome, so you’re also faced with finding and forming friendships and support networks on your own.

The good news is that you are not alone. DownSyndrome Achieves is where families living with Down syndrome connect. In fact, we’re powered by parents who believe passionately that something more—something better—lies ahead for our children. And it’s because of these families, families just like yours, that the future for children with Down syndrome is much brighter than it has been in the past.

A strong network of support.

As new parents to a child with Down syndrome, it’s important that you connect with your community. Reach out to others who have been there before. You’ll find that experienced parents will lend you an ear and tell you honestly how much your life is about to change – for the better. The truth that many of us have discovered is that becoming the parent of a child with Down syndrome is often a richly rewarding experience.

"A DS diagnosis is far from the end of the world. We didn't anticipate having a child with Down syndrome, but have discovered that a path uncharted often offers unexpected rewards. We are a happy family, living a happy life, which happens to include Down syndrome. Our lives would not be the same without Bridget."
- Lisa, author of the Bridget’s Light blog. Read more here.

Find more blogs by parents of children with Down syndrome on our Resources page.

Some questions you may have about Down syndrome

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition, resulting when a baby is born with three, rather than the usual two, copies of chromosome 21. Because there are three copies of chromosome 21, Down syndrome is also called trisomy 21.

Is Down syndrome genetic?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder, but it is not a trait passed along by the mother or father. It occurs in all races.

Is age a factor?

While the age of the mother can be a factor, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to parents under the age of 35 (the average age is 26).

What is the future like for my child?

While Down syndrome causes cognitive delay, thanks to early intervention and advances in medicine, children with Down syndrome are living longer, achieving scholastically and living meaningful, independent lives. Many go to college, hold jobs, pay taxes, fall in love and get married. Sound familiar?

Join our family today or talk to a DSA parent advocate.