Is Down Syndrome A Disorder?

The best person to answer a question about Down syndrome is a person with Down syndrome. Jan answers this one.


Down syndrome is not a disorder, it is a naturally occurring condition, which impacts the arrangement in a person’s chromosomes.

Down syndrome is not a disease, disorder, defect or medical condition and therefore does not require treatment, prevention or a cure. It is inappropriate and offensive to refer to people with Down syndrome as “afflicted with” or “suffering from” it. People with Down syndrome can go to speech or motor therapy, but this does not treat Down syndrome itself.

Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition. The sole characteristic shared by all people with Down syndrome is the presence of extra genetic material associated with the 21st chromosome. This happens because of an error during cell division when the egg and sperm first meet. The effects of that extra genetic material vary greatly from individual to individual.

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