Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 for 21: DAY 25 :: Painful Truth

Years ago when babies with Down syndrome were born, a common concern was life expectancy.  While it pains me to discuss this, because I could NEVER imagine my life without my sweet Jack in it, it is something that I have to think about. 
The truth hurts sometimes.

Thanks to advances in medical and clinical treatment and societal opportunities to thrive, individuals with Down syndrome are currently living much longer and fuller lives.  I can only hope that as Jack ages, there will continually be more and more advances being made to help him live an even longer and fuller life.

Down Syndrome Fact of the Day #25:

As many as 80 percent of adults with Down syndrome reach age 55-65, and many live longer.

Research on the topic of life expectancy in individuals with Ds is surprisingly a bit limited; but what I found was quite interesting.  A 1991 study looked at over 12,000 people with DS and found that major medical problems were not a consistent predictor of mortality, which was a common belief.  Instead, self-help skills were the best predictor of life expectancy.  Regardless of these findings, it would be foolish to predict how long a baby born now with DS would live as so many things can change for them medically and socially in the next decades.

While it is important to point out, I try not to dwell on the fact that my son's life expectancy is less than the average, due to obvious reasons.  What I choose to focus on instead is how to help Jack be the absolute BEST Jack he can be for his ENTIRE life...

... and give him LOADS OF LOVE along the way!

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