Our Mission Statement

We aim to provide information, support and friendship to people with Down syndrome and their families in Galway City and County, working towards an improved quality of life with respect and acceptance of people with Down syndrome as valued members of their community.

We recognise the importance of early intervention and developing communication ability.

We aim to create opportunities for social and personal inclusion and integration across the age spectrum

Recent Posts

24hr Swimathon March 23rd/24th

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Brownsgrove National School, Tuam, celebrating World Down Syndrome Day 2018

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Happy World Down Syndrome Day from Inishbofin! ... See MoreSee Less

Lots of Socks - World Down Syndrome Day - 21st March 2018

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Lots of socks is a fun initiative in the lead up to Down’s Syndrome Awareness Day on 21st March every year. Why socks? Well, because chromosomes look like socks and people with Down’s syndrome have an extra chromosome! “Lots of Socks” is acknowledged around the world as being associated with Down’s syndrome.

This is what our chromosomes look like under a microscope. Don’t they look just like socks?

Story: What is a gene?
The doorbell rings. Emma's dad calls out, "Emma, answer the door! I'm making dinner and my hands are full!"
Emma puts down her book, and heads to the door. As she opens it slowly, a burst of mostly familiar faces rush through the door. Aunts, uncles, and cousins she hasn't seen in years greet her enthusiastically.
Aunt Rita pulls Emma into a hug and says, "Well, look at you! You've grown! And you've got such beautiful red, curly hair! It runs in the family, you know. You look just like my grandmother!"
Uncle Michael adds, "And, look, she's getting so tall! Just like her dad. Only 10 years old, and you look like a basketball player already!"
Emma's dad emerges from the kitchen to greet the guests. As he helps everyone get settled, Emma wonders, "Aunt Rita's grandmother? It runs in the family? What are they talking about?"
Genes (say: jeenz), that's what they're talking about. Genes play an important role in determining physical traits - how we look -and lots of other stuff about us. They carry information that makes you who you are and what you look like: curly or straight hair, long or short legs, even how you might smile or laugh. Many of these things are passed from one generation to the next in a family by genes.

What Is a Gene?
Each cell in the human body contains about 25,000 to 35,000 genes. Genes carry the information that determines your traits (say: trates), which are features or characteristics that are passed on to you - or inherited - from your parents.
For example, if both of your parents have green eyes, you might inherit the trait for green eyes from them. Or if your mom has freckles, you might have freckles too because you inherited the trait for freckles. Genes aren't just found in humans - all animals and plants have genes, too.
Where are these important genes? Well, they are so small you can't see them. Genes are found on tiny spaghetti-like structures called chromosomes (say: KRO-moh-somes). And chromosomes are found inside cells. Your body is made of billions of cells. Cells are the very small units that make up all living things. A cell is so tiny that you can only see it using a strong microscope.
Chromosomes come in matching sets of two (or pairs) and there are hundreds - sometimes thousands - of genes in just one chromosome. The chromosomes and genes are made of DNA, which is short for deoxyribonucleic (say: dee-ox-see-ri-bo-nyoo-CLAY-ik) acid.
Most cells have one nucleus (say: NOO-clee-us). The nucleus is a small egg-shaped structure inside the cell which acts like the brain of the cell. It tells every part of the cell what to do. But, how does the nucleus know so much? It contains our chromosomes and genes. As tiny as it is, the nucleus has more information in it than the biggest dictionary you've ever seen.
In humans, a cell nucleus contains 46 individual chromosomes or 23 pairs of chromosomes (chromosomes come in pairs, remember? 23 x 2 = 46). Half of these chromosomes come from one parent and half come from the other parent. A person with Down Syndrome has one extra chromosome. Chromosome number 21 has 3 chromosomes making them very unique.
Under the microscope, we can see that chromosomes come in different lengths and striping patterns. That’s why we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day by wearing lots of different socks…just like the chromosomes in our body! So don’t forget to have fun by wearing your different coloured socks on the 21st March and join all the other children around the world who will be showing off their cool socks too! 
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