Early intervention for infants and children with Down syndrome can make a major difference in realizing their potential abilities and in their quality of life.
Early intervention programs
Ask your health care provider about early intervention programs in your area. Available in most states, these special programs offer children with Down syndrome stimulation at an early age with appropriate sensory, motor and cognitive activities.
Programs may vary, but they usually involve therapists and special educators whose goal is to help your baby develop motor skills, language, social skills and self-help skills.
If your child has Down syndrome, you'll likely rely on a team of specialists that, depending on your child's particular needs, will provide your child's medical care and help him or her develop skills as fully as possible. Your team may include some of these experts:
April 19, 2014
- Primary care pediatrician to coordinate and provide routine childhood care
- Pediatric cardiologist
- Pediatric gastroenterologist
- Pediatric endocrinologist
- Developmental pediatrician
- Pediatric neurologist
- Pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist
- Pediatric eye doctor (ophthalmologist)
- Physical therapist
- Speech pathologist
- Occupational therapist
- What is Down syndrome? National Down Syndrome Society. http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/What-Is-Down-Syndrome/. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Down syndrome fact sheet. National Down Syndrome Society. http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Down-Syndrome-Facts/. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Learning about Down syndrome. National Human Genome Research Institute. http://www.genome.gov/19517824. Accessed Nov. 14 2013.
- Down syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/down-syndrome. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Facts about Down syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/DownSyndrome.html. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Ostermaier KK. Down syndrome: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Messerlian GM, et al. Overview of prenatal screening and diagnosis of Down syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 77. Screening for fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2007;109:217. Reaffirmed 2011.
- Frequently asked questions. Pregnancy FAQ094. Genetic disorders. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq094.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20131118T2245557486. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- How do health care providers diagnose Down syndrome? Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/down/conditioninfo/Pages/diagnosed.aspx. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.
- Ghidini A. Chorionic villus sampling: Risks, complications, and techniques. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 5, 2013.
- Patterson MC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 22, 2013.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 16, 2014.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Genetics. Committee Opinion No. 545: Noninvasive prenatal testing for fetal aneuploidy. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012;120:1532.
- Second trimester: Cordocentesis (percutaneous umbilical blood cord sampling, PUBS). Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/wellness/pregnancy/second-trimester/cordo/. Accessed Jan. 17, 2014.