For New Parents : General

Here you will find answers to questions that we are often asked. If you do not find what you are looking for, please call our helpline and speak to one of our specialist advisers: 0333 1212 300


Please click on a question below to expand.

For more information, see our families and carers section.

1. What is Down's syndrome?

2. What causes Down's syndrome?

3. What is the incidence of Down's syndrome?

4. When was Down's syndrome discovered?

5. Do people with Down's syndrome have a particular personality type?

6. Can men & women with Down's syndrome get married and have children?

7. What was life like in the past for people with Down's syndrome?

8. What is life like now for people with Down's syndrome?

9. What is the correct terminology regarding people with Down's syndrome?

10. What does the DSA do for people with Down's syndrome and their families?

11. I am interested in working with people with Down's syndrome - how can I get started?

12. Can you tell the facts from the myths?

If you have any problems, call us at the DSA on: 0333 1212 300.

photograph: Monkey Business Images/

Did you know…?

  • Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome.
  • There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK with the condition.
  • Although the chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome is higher for older mothers, more babies with Down’s syndrome are born to younger women.
  • Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. In the majority of cases, Down’s syndrome is not an inherited condition. Down’s syndrome usually occurs because of a chance happening at the time of conception.
  • Down’s syndrome is not a disease. People with Down’s syndrome are not ill and do not “suffer” from the condition.
  • People with the syndrome will have a learning disability. The learning disability affects a person’s ability to learn, it does not mean they cannot learn.
  • Today the average life expectancy for a person with Down’s syndrome is between 50 and 60 with a small number of people living into their seventies.

About the Down’s Syndrome Association

  • Last year we responded to over 8,500 telephone enquiries on our switchboard from members, professionals and the general public, and over 3,800 calls on our helpline.
  • Our website was visited by over 466,034 people from over 150 countries worldwide.



What's New