In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, here is a note from David Otanez. March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. As a parent, our daughter is blessed to have Down syndrome... I use the term blessed as we love her for who she is and the joy that she brings. When telling others of her Down syndrome often the response is… “I am sorry to hear that”. My response has become "Why?" It is attributed to the many misconceptions about Down syndrome and what it actually is. The technical term for Down Syndrome is Trisomy 21. Individuals with this condition have a genetic alteration where the 21st chromosome has a third copy, and in normal individuals there are 2 chromosomes. It is a totally random occurrence, caused at conception and there is a 1 in 700 chance of happening. Here are some facts about Down Syndrome - Individuals with down syndrome can learn to read, write, work and contribute to society just like any other person. It just might take a little more work. - Not long ago, before awareness of Down Syndrome and its effects, individuals with this condition may not live past 20 years old. Today they can live happily into their 60’s with the right monitoring of certain areas at an early age. - The extra chromosome can cause a delay in developmental areas, specifically in physical and intellectual growth. Today’s scientific advancements and understanding helps to identity these areas early on. - All parts of life have a counter balance, when you have challenges in some areas you gain in others. There are areas Tri 21 individuals are able to excel in which are far greater than the average person. Part of parenting is to simply look for and encourage those areas. And in areas that operate slower, increase repetition and maintain awareness of those areas of improvement. - Individuals with Down Syndrome are typically very loving, compassionate, caring and truly nonjudgmental. Something we can all learn from. An individual with Down Syndrome can achieve whatever they choose to in life…. They can become a martial artist, a fashion model, dancer, and musician... whatever their heart desires. Here is proof of that… From a Chinese TV show… a young man performing Wushu A individual performing Seiunchin..