Down syndrome is a genetic condition. It is not an illness or a disease.

Down syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual disability that we know of. Everyone who has Down syndrome will have some level of intellectual disability. There will be some delay in development and some level of learning difficulty. Because everyone is unique, the level of delay will be different for each person.

When a baby is born, there is no way to tell what level of intellectual disability the child may have. Nor can we predict the way in which this may affect a person's life. However, we do know that having Down syndrome will not be the most important influence on how that person develops and lives their life. Instead, what happens after birth will be much more important and family, environmental, cultural and social factors will shape their life, just like everyone else.

People with Down syndrome are not fundamentally different from anyone else. They have the same needs and aspirations in life that we all do, including:

  • a good place to live
  • meaningful employment
  • the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and family
  • intimacy
  • having a role in our community.

People with Down syndrome need opportunities to reach their full potential, like we all do. When given these opportunities, they become valued and productive members of their families and the community.

If you are seeking informaiton and have a question or enquiry that is not answered here, please contact the team at Down Syndrome NSW on 02) 9841 4444, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Getting to know Down Syndrome NSW. 

Emi Campbell 1

Download the brochure.