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For far too long the general public has viewed Down syndrome to be a world of sadness and stress. We have been inundated with information related to medical complications rather than being told about the endless possibilities of having a child not much different than others. Many will never have the privilege to meet some of these inspiring individuals and will continue to only 'believe what they read.'

The Know Me First Campaign was created to educate the world about Down syndrome while eliminating its myths. We have listed 10 facts about Down syndrome that EVERY person should know. Learn what is true, remember what you read, and forward when relevant. The Know Me First Campaign urges us to open our minds, reevaluate our assumptions, and change our perceptions. Let's begin...

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Learn what is true Remember what you read, and Forward when relevant

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1. Approximately 1 out of every 700 babies born in the United States each year is born with Down syndrome.

2. Down syndrome is a condition, not a disease.

3. While approximately 30-50% of children born with Down syndrome will have heart conditions, the majority of these conditions can be surgically corrected resulting in long term health.

4. Children and adults with Down syndrome participate in learning programs and are increasingly attending mainstream schools, College, and other forms of further education.

5. Rosa's Law was signed by President Obama in 2010 which among other corrections, changes the term “mental retardation" used in federal documents to the new term “intellectual disability." This marks a significant step forward towards the elimination of offensive language targeted towards the special needs community.

6. Individuals with Down syndrome experience the full spectrum of emotions as any typical person would including feelings of happiness, sadness, excitement, etc.

7. The majority of individuals with Down syndrome experience intellectual disabilities in the mild to moderate range and are fully capable of conversation, decision making, and inclusion in every day activities.

8. While abilities vary, individuals with Down syndrome are fully capable of working full time jobs in fields such as business, restaurants, retail, and self-employment.

9. Individuals with Down syndrome are living increasingly longer lives which can extend into their 60's and 70's.

10. Individuals with Down syndrome are more alike than different in all aspects of life.

I have read the 10 facts above.

I promise to take what I have learned today and share this information with others who are unaware or critical of those with Down syndrome. I promise to forward these facts to those closest to me who have been given a prenatal diagnosis of having, or potentially having, a child with Down syndrome.

I promise to help educate the world about the truths of Down syndrome.

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