Families all over the world celebrate World Down Syndrome Day each year on the 21st day of March. In 2012, the United Nations designated March 21st as a global awareness day to bring awareness to the lives and accomplishments of individuals with Down syndrome. The UN chose this date to represent the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome that causes most cases of Down syndrome (Trisomy 21). According to WorldDownSyndromeDay.org, Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, and is universally present across racial, gender or socioeconomic lines. Someone with Down syndrome is born once in approximately 800 live births, although there is considerable variation worldwide. Down syndrome often results in varying degrees of intellectual and physical delays, but with early intervention, educational inclusion, and supportive services such as speech therapy and occupational therapy, people with Down syndrome are living longer, more meaningful lives. There are many ways to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. Some families engage in service activities, others get together with friends. Many people post on social media to increase awarness and bring attention to the lack of funding for research about Down Syndrome. Some people wear silly socks which resemble the pairs of chromosomes in the human genome. One way that families can celebrate the life of their loved one with Down syndrome is to ensure that they have an adequately funded supplemental needs trust. These trusts are needed to ensure that the individual with Down syndrome can qualify for programs like Medicaid, and will protect and provide for the individual as they age. Many people don’t realize that there is no Board Certification for special needs law, but this specific and specialized area of the law does fall under the education, experience and credentials of a Certified Elder Law Attorney. Attorneys who have earned the National Elder Law Foundation’s Certified Elder Law Attorney designation must demonstrate that they are knowledgable and experienced with trust creation, guardianship, and other issues impacting individuals with special needs. We at McNair Dallas Law are grateful for our clients with special needs, and for their families who trust us with their legal needs. We wish everyone celebrating a Happy World Down Syndrome Day.
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