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    Birth Defects Epidemiology & Surveillance
    Mail Code 1964
    P.O. Box 149347
    Austin, TX 78714-9347

    Phone: 512-776-7232
    Fax: 512-776-7330

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Down Syndrome

Página en español

About Down Syndrome

Each cell in the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes; babies get half of each pair from their mom and the other half from their dad. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that is usually caused by an extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome. It is not caused by anything either parent did or did not do.

About 250,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not usually run in families.

Children with Down syndrome will grow and develop like other babies, but may meet milestones later than a typical child. The mental, behavioral and developmental progress of people with Down syndrome varies widely and cannot be predicted before a person is born. Currently, the average life expectancy for people with Down syndrome is about 60 years.

Information about Down Syndrome for New and Expecting Parents

Your baby has or may have Down syndrome. It is natural for you to have questions, concerns or fears. You are not alone in your feelings or on the journey ahead of you. Know that the outlook for people with Down syndrome has improved over time because of advances in medical care, education and public attitudes. This brochure has facts about Down syndrome and a list of places where you can go to find more information and support.


Information about Down Syndrome for New and Expecting Parents (English)

Información sobre el síndrome de Down para padres de recién nacidos y futuros padres (Spanish)*

We are in the process of updating the Spanish version of this brochure. Please email us at birthdefects@dshs.texas.gov or call 512-776-7232 for assistance.

For more information, please contact:

Birth Defects Epidemiology & Surveillance
Texas Department of State Health Services
Mail Code 1964
P.O. Box 149347
Austin 78714-9347

Phone 512-776-7232, 1-888-963-7111
Fax 512-776-7330


Other Services for Families


Last updated October 7, 2022