This isn't necessarily about Down Syndrome but thought it important to mention. Today we had a fire near our house, close enough for them to start giving voluntary evacuation warnings. Now I have 6 kids, all of which have special needs - some minor and some more severe. Here they were, very scared, allergies and asthma flared up from the smoke, and yet they listened.
One became Cameron's buddy to keep him occupied and the rest started gathering things in case we had to leave. They got the things in their room that were special to them - the blankets their granny made them and the stuffed animals from their gotcha days (the day we finalized their adoptions). Nothing else mattered to them really. They helped each other find things and even put everything away when we got the call the evacuations were cancelled.
Things sink in to kids even when we don't think they do and surprise us when we least expect it.