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World Down Syndrome Day is March 21st!

World Down Syndrome Day is coming up on March 21st. People celebrate in a lot of ways, but one fun and easy way is to wear your crazy socks!! 

We have listed some common questions about WDSD in the hope that you will help us spread the word. Share with your friends, your children, your classmates...well, everyone! There are few better conversation starters than walking around town in your wild mismatched socks!

Why March 21st?

Down Syndrome is due to an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. This gives someone with DS three copies of this chromosome instead of the typical number of two. Since there are three 21s, World Down Syndrome day is March 21st (3/21)!

Why Crazy socks?

This is for a few reasons...

When looking at a karyotype (a picture of our chromosomes, stained for viewing under a microscope), the chromosomes look like paired socks. The staining makes them look striped. Some folks even wear an extra sock to represent the extra chromosome. Another reason for wearing mismatched socks is to promote the celebration of differences. Some buddies wear the same set of mismatched socks to also point out that we are more alike than different. One last reason for the crazy socks is that they get attention. If someone notices the socks, they may ask about them and allow for a discussion about DS, differences, acceptance, and hope. Our siblings of those with DS seem to be the most into this day. They can show their love and support of their brother or sister and feel the support of others who join in with their socks. Plus, who doesn't have a pair of mismatched socks (some loads of laundry seem to lack a pair of matching ones!) so this is something in which everyone can easily participate. Heck, if you forget, you can swap a sock with a friend and bam!, you're in!

How can I help students and other young people understand Down Syndrome?

This video, "Just Like You", does a great job speaking to students about other young people with DS and shows the benefits of accepting everyone's differences. This would be a great tool to use in a classroom before World Down Syndrome Day to introduce DS and promote participation in a crazy sock day.