Down Syndrome - Treatment Overview
It is common to experience a
wide range of emotions when your baby is born with Down syndrome. While you have joy from your child's birth, you will also need to learn about and care for his or her special health care needs. Most families choose to raise their
child, while some consider foster care or adoption. Support groups and
organizations can assist you in making the best decision for your family.
Treatment for Down syndrome focuses on making sure that your child has
regular medical checkups, helping your child develop, watching for early signs of health problems, and finding support. With treatment and support, you can help your child live a happy, healthy life.
Get your child regular medical care
You can help your child stay
healthy by scheduling routine checkups. This will help to identify, manage, and
monitor any diseases and health problems that people with Down syndrome have
a higher chance of developing.
Doctors look for
specific problems at various ages, such as
cataracts and other eye conditions during a baby's
first year. These checkups are also a good time for you and the doctor to talk about any concerns you have. Many parents have
similar concerns as their children grow, including:
- Newborn concerns, such as where to get
emotional support and learn about Down
- Infant concerns, such as what therapies your child may need and how to prevent colds.
- Early childhood concerns, such as how to teach healthy behaviors, social skills, and diet and exercise.
- Middle and late childhood concerns, such as how to support independence and education, and what team sports your child can play.
- Adolescent and young adult concerns, such as what to expect during puberty and adulthood.
Help your child to develop
Although it may take
extra time for your child to learn and master skills, you may be surprised at
how much he or she will be able to do. With encouragement, your child can learn important skills. You can help your baby learn to walk, talk, or eat by himself. You can help your child make friends and do well in school. Later you can help him or her learn job skills and maybe live independently.
To learn how to help your child throughout life, see Home Treatment.
Get treatment for health problems
Your child may develop health problems related to Down syndrome, such as ear infections, dental problems, or behavior issues. He or she may need:
- Medicines, such as antibiotics for ear infections and thyroid hormones for an underactive thyroid
Surgery to correct
problems such as heart defects, bowel obstruction, or spinal problems.
types of therapy, such as speech therapy, nutritional advice from a registered dietitian, or counseling for behavior problems.