Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 for 21: DAY 4 :: "But you're so young!!!"

When I tell new people about Jack's Down syndrome, one of the many responses I get is, "But you're so young!!!"  While I know that people are basing their response on their own (limited) knowledge about Down syndrome and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, it still kind of irritates me to hear this.  Yes, I was 28 when Jack was conceived and 29 when he was born. 
(I know this, people.  Thanks for reminding me of my own age!  Ha!) 
This leads me to your .... 

Down Syndrome Fact of the Day (Day 4):

Down syndrome is not a genetic condition caused by older parents.

In case you haven't realized this yet, Down syndrome does not evade young parents!  In fact, eighty percent of children born with Ds are born to women younger than age 35, like myself, and the average age of mothers of children with Ds is 26.  Research does, however, show a link between advanced maternal/paternal age and the incidence of Down syndrome, which is probably why many people's knowledge is skewed.  Generally speaking, yes, mothers older than 35 have a greater chance of having a child with Ds than a younger mother.  However, more children with Ds are in fact born to mothers younger than 35, because there are simply more children born to mothers under 35. 

Glad I didn't miss out on you buddy, because I was "too young"!

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