Who We AreNewsletters and PublicationsEvents and Group ActivitiesCalendarPhoto AlbumsContact InfoLinks

The Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Your support will help us in our continued advocacy on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome.

Our Mission Statement:

Improving the quality of life of persons with Down syndrome by providing support, advocacy, and educational opportunities to those individuals, their families, and community advocates.



Goals of the Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association, Inc.:
To offer support and information to help families adjust to the special needs of a child with Down
To promote public awareness and increased understanding of Down syndrome.
To help improve the quality of life of individuals with Down syndrome.
To integrate persons with Down syndrome into all aspects of educational and community life.
To serve as advocates for ALL.

Down Syndrome Facts
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that usually causes delays in physical, intellectual and
language development.

Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the world and is the most
frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47
chromosomes instead of the usual 46.

The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is estimated to be 1 in every 800 - 1,000 live

The likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases with maternal age. However,
80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

There is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with
Down syndrome. Most will have mild to moderate impairments, but it is important to note that they
are more like other children than they are different.

30% - 50% of the individuals with Down syndrome have heart defects and 8% - 12% have
gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth. Most of these conditions are correctable with

Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education,
appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes. Many adults will live and work productively
in their communities, and enjoy many recreational opportunities.