Home Lifestyle ROCK YOUR SOCKS: World Down Syndrome Day recognized in Richmond County

ROCK YOUR SOCKS: World Down Syndrome Day recognized in Richmond County

Staff from the Richmond County Department of Social Services show off their funky socks with Charlotte Marks in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day. Photo by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Funky socks were in fashion Tuesday at the Richmond County Department of Social Services.

DSS employees flaunted their footwear in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day.

Joining them again was Charlotte Marks, daughter of Caroline and John Marks, who is now 6 years old and has Down syndrome.

Charlotte was decked out in her “Down Syndrome Superhero” socks featuring a caped crusader, similar to the ones she wore in 2019.

As for the social workers, their socks were adorned with cartoon and anime characters, lips, cats and stripes, and some wore mismatched socks.

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes delays in both physical and intellectual development.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 6,000 children born in the U.S. — about one in 700 — are diagnosed with Down syndrome each year.

While scientists haven’t pinpointed factors that cause the most common chromosomal condition, the risk increases with the age of the mother, according to the CDC.

The most recognizable physical features of Down syndrome, the CDC reports, include a flattened face, almond-shaped eyes and a shorter stature. Those with the condition can also have a variety of health issues like congenital heart defects, eye diseases and ear infections.

According to worlddownsyndromeday.org, the date — 21st day of the third month — was chosen to “signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.”

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While World Down Syndrome Day is observed in the spring, October is recognized as Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

Last year, Charlotte was featured in a video played in Times Square in a presentation from the National Down Syndrome Society. Click here to read that story.

Trisomy accounts for 95% of all cases of Down syndrome, according to the National Association for Down Syndrome. The other two types are translocation and mosaicism.

Over the past 40 years, the life expectancy of those with Down syndrome has increased from 25 to 60, according to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, which adds that a growing number are living independently and getting married.

People around the world are encouraged to wear wacky socks — preferably blue and yellow — to “raise awareness” of Down Syndrome.

Students at Richmond Senior High School were encouraged to rock their socks. The crew at Richmond County Aging Services also participated.

Photo courtesy of Richmond County Aging Services

In a related note, Tuesday was also Social Worker Appreciation Day, recognized on the third Tuesday each March.

Including supervisors, Richmond County DSS has 34 social workers: 25 in Child Protective Services; seven in Adult Protective Services; and two in Quality Assurance.