Services for Families and Children with Down Syndrome
Rainbow's Child Development Center, in the Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychology, provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for children with Down syndrome – beginning with prenatal consultations for parents-to-be, and continuing through your child’s infancy, childhood, teen years and transitions to adulthood.
Like all children, no two kids with Down syndrome are the same. Getting the right care from experts who take the time to get to know your family and customize services to your child’s specific interests, abilities, development and health needs is the key to creating the best short- and long-term outcomes for your child.
As your youngster grows, we work with your family to celebrate milestones, nurture strengths, build independence, address emerging issues and promote development. Care plans are tailored to your child’s unique needs and can combine behavioral and developmental support with supportive therapies (occupational, physical, speech) to help your child work toward a happy and healthy life.
What Causes Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome, the most common genetic birth defect, is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome. Genes carry the “instructions” for every part of our bodies – from major systems like heart, lungs and muscles to traits like height, eye color and gender. Genes are organized into packets called chromosomes. Every human cell contains 23 sets of chromosomes. Normally, each set is a pair, containing one chromosome from the mother and one from the father. When a person has three of a certain chromosome instead of two, it’s called a trisomy. When a child is born with three of the number 21 chromosome, it’s known as Trisomy 21 – commonly referred to as Down syndrome.
Early Intervention Services for Children with Down Syndrome
Early intervention is a key to successful outcomes. Children with Down syndrome often have related medical issues, such as heart defects, intestinal problems, developmental delays, musculoskeletal disorders, thyroid issues, susceptibility to infection, and eye or ear problems. You should connect with specialized services at your child’s birth – or even during your pregnancy – to ensure that your child’s specialized medical and developmental issues are recognized and addressed and your child has the ideal foundation to grow and thrive.
What Can I Expect for my Child’s Future?
Children with Down syndrome grow and develop more slowly than other children. They may have learning issues and may be slower to hit milestones like talking and walking. Despite their challenges, however, kids with Down syndrome can have rich and happy lives. They can go to regular schools, make friends, learn to take care of themselves, and get jobs. Many medical issues that once shortened the lives of children with Down syndrome can now be managed when caught early.
Our developmental pediatricians in Rainbow’s Child Development Center look forward to getting to know your child and joining your family on your amazing journey.