March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, so we at GrantWatch want to share some information about this well-known but often overlooked disorder. Well over 400,000 people are estimated to have Down syndrome in the U.S.A. Yet, our National Institutes of Health provide the least funding of all major genetic condition to this disorder. And, this is despite it being the most frequent chromosomal disorder.
So, to raise awareness of the challenges of treating and researching this disorder, the United Nations holds World Down Syndrome Day each year in early spring.
The truth is, each year about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States.That means that one out of every 700 babies born in the United States is estimated to be born with Down syndrome, says the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. This is one of the many reasons GrantWatch lists grants for services and research into a wide range of disabilities.
And, as 38% of Americans know someone with Down syndrome, there’s a good chance you are one of them. If you do, you may also know that Down syndrome does not always mean the person can’t lead a fulfilling life. However, early treatment makes a huge difference in the quality of life of someone born with this disorder.
The U.S. Centers for DIsease Control stresses the importance of early treatment:
“Down syndrome is a lifelong condition. Services early in life will often help babies and children with Down syndrome to improve their physical and intellectual abilities. Most of these services focus on helping children with Down syndrome develop to their full potential.” — US Centers for Disease Control
How to Treat Down Syndrome
Because it’s critical that babies born with Down syndrome receive early treatment and services, the US Centers for Disease Control recommends the following:
- Speech therapy.
- Occupational therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Extra help or attention in school.
These services are typically offered through early intervention programs provided through individual states.
What Causes Down Syndrome?
Here’s where things get pretty scientific and technical. But it’s important to know the facts behind Down syndrome, so as to better understand and empathize with those born into this lifelong disorder.
1. The cause of Down syndrome is unknown.
During the formation of the egg in the mother’s womb, the two copies of chromosome 21 fail to separate. The result is an egg with two copies of the same chromosome. When this egg is fertilized, each of the cells in the resulting baby ends up with three copies of chromosome 21 in each of its cells. But, no one knows why this happens.
2. The chance of having a baby with Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age.
While it’s true that older mothers have a greater chance of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome, about half of these babies are born to mothers under 35 years old. But this is simply because more young women are having babies.
3. What doesn’t increase the chances of having a baby with Down syndrome?
It’s important to know that the following has no effect on having a baby with Down syndrome:
- Socioeconomic status.
- Anything the mother or father did during pregnancy.
Here’s 3 Grants To Help People With Disabilities
Here at GrantWatch, we understand how critical funding is for treatment, research and services for people of all ages who have intellectual and physical disabilities. Our category for Disability grants lists over 300 grants that a range of organizations can apply for. Here is a sample:
- There is a Grant to Research Ways to Improve the Self-sufficiency of People with Disabilities. For this grant, priority will be given to research projects that assist individuals with the most severe disabilities.
- There’s also this grant is an Award to Support a Resource Center That Assists Older Adults With Disabilities in managing their conditions.
- And, there are Grants to study Fragile X syndrome is open to post-doctoral researchers in the US, Canada and internationally. These fellowship grants award up to $45,000 to research causes and treatments of Fragile X . This is a genetic disorder that results in mild intellectual disability.
For more information on these grants or any grant listed on GrantWatch, just call our customer service team at (561) 249-4129. We will be happy to assist you. And, remember that a subscription to GrantWatch gives you access to thousands of grants, all searchable through our keyword search function.