October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Bona Vista is celebrating all of our friends affected by this diagnosis.
Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition and was named after Dr. John Down, who wrote the first comprehensive paper studying the diagnosis in the 1860s. Some of the most prominent symptoms include low muscle tone and cognitive delays. Approximately 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome each year, and it is a condition that affects one in 700 people.
As research has increased, we have grown to learn exponential amounts about this condition. A better understanding has led to an increased life expectancy for those diagnosed with Down syndrome, from 25 years in 1980 to 60 years today. In addition to the quantity of years, the quality of life for those with the diagnosis has improved over time as awareness has increased. Shifting focus from a person’s disabilities to their abilities has helped people with Down syndrome live full, rich lives.
In 1975, the National Down Syndrome Society named October a month to promote awareness, advocacy, and inclusion. Since its inception, Down Syndrome Awareness Month has spurred many organizations to participate in events celebrating the Down syndrome community.
Bona Vista is in a fortunate position to get to see children and adults with Down syndrome. We are able help them explore their abilities and talents, learn and grow, and support them in their goals. Isaac is one of our clients with Down syndrome who lives in a Bona Vista group home. He attends our day services programming, has a job coach through our Workforce Diversity department, and works at IHOP. We celebrate Isaac for his humor and his personality.
Bona Vista is thankful to be a voice of advocacy in our community to spread awareness and encourage inclusion for all of our clients. For more information on our early childhood and adult services please visit www.bonavista.org or call 765-457-8273.