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Down Syndrome in Adults Facts

October 22, 2018

In support of Down Syndrome Awareness month, we’re building awareness by providing a better understanding of Down syndrome in adults.

One of the most common congenital anomalies in the world, Down syndrome affects approximately 1 in 750 live born babies in Canada. The well-defined characteristics of Down syndrome in children and how it affects day-to-day living is well documented – but information related to Down syndrome in adults is far more scarce.

Here are some tidbits about adults with Down syndrome you probably weren’t aware of:

  • Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal birth anomaly in Canada, affecting over 45,000 Canadians today.
  • The life expectancy of an adult with Down syndrome has significantly improved in recent decades – it was 25 in 1983; today, it’s 60 years old.
  • Half of older adults with Down syndrome will develop some form of memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease risk increases past age 50.
  • Hiring adults with Down syndrome can be a boon to business:

“In fact, including workers with disabilities in real jobs with equal pay tends to have a direct and positive impact on a business’s profitability. Workers with disabilities are more productive, work more safely, stay longer, require less supervision, are more innovative and have less absenteeism.”

– Mark Wafer, Former Tim Horton’s franchisee owner

  • In a study conducted by Brian Skotko, medical geneticist and co-director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, 99% of adults with Down syndrome reported they were happy with their lives.
  • There are three types of Down syndrome: translocation, mosaicism, and trisomy 21. Trisomy 21 is the most common type, attributed to 95% of cases.

Down Syndrome Success Stories

To celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we’re sharing inspiring success stories that highlight the abilities and accomplishments of those in the Down syndrome community:

  • In 2013, Angela Bachiller became the first person with Down syndrome to ever be elected councilwoman in Spain.
  • Michael Johnson is a self-taught Native Folk painter, commissioning over 500 portraits to date. He had a featured exhibition at Vanderbilt University in 2001, and has had his artwork featured in the American Journal of Public Health.
  • Writer, speaker, and actor, Pablo Pineda is a celebrity in Spain. He’s best known for his lead role in the film Yo Tambien, in which he received the San Sebastian International Film Festival’s ‘Concha de Plata’ as Best Actor for his performance.
  • Check out the National Down Syndrome Society’s page dedicated to Down syndrome success stories from across America. From NBA equipment managers, to photographers, to DJs, these heartfelt stories highlight the variety of industries and jobs people with Down syndrome can thrive in.

We’ve saved the most important tidbit of information for last: if you or a family member is living with Down syndrome, you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit in Canada. This Canadian disability benefit program provides financial support through income tax relief, and can be retroactively claimed up to 10 years.

For more information, call us at 1-888-389-0080 or schedule a free consultation online with one of our Canadian Benefits specialists.