Treatment

Early intervention for infants and children with Down syndrome can make a major difference in improving their quality of life. Because each child with Down syndrome is unique, treatment will depend on individual needs. Also, different stages of life may require different services.

Team care

If your child has Down syndrome, you'll likely rely on a team of specialists that can provide medical care and help him or her develop skills as fully as possible. Depending on your child's particular needs, your team may include some of these experts:

  • 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)
  • Audiologist
  • Speech pathologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist

You'll need to make important decisions about your child's treatment and education. Build a team of health care providers, teachers and therapists you trust. These professionals can help evaluate the resources in your area and explain state and federal programs for children and adults with disabilities.

June 24, 2017
References
  1. What is Down syndrome? National Down Syndrome Society. http://www.ndss.org/down-syndrome/what-is-down-syndrome/. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  2. Down syndrome fact sheet. National Down Syndrome Society. http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/Down-Syndrome-Facts/. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  3. Messerlian GM, et al. Down syndrome: Overview of prenatal screening. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  4. National Library of Medicine. Down syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/down-syndrome. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  5. Facts about Down syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/downsyndrome.html. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  6. Down syndrome. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/down/conditioninfo/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  7. Frequently asked questions. Prenatal genetic diagnostic tests. FAQ164. Pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq164.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20161216T1208042192. Accessed Dec. 16, 2016.
  8. Ostermaier KK. Down syndrome: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 22, 2016.
  9. Ostermaier KK. Down syndrome: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 10, 2017.
  10.  Gabbe SG, et al., eds. Genetic screening and prenatal genetic diagnosis. In: Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2017.
  11. Rink BD, et al. Screening for fetal aneuploidy. Seminars in Perinatology. 2016;40:35.
  12. Bunt CW, et al. The role of the family physician in the care of children with Down syndrome. American Family Physician. 2014;90:851.
  13. Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 26, 2017.