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Down Syndrome - Treatment Overview

Find resources and support

Your doctor or local hospital can refer you to community resources to help you learn what to expect and how to care for your baby who has Down syndrome.

You may also want to think about joining a support group. Talking and sharing with other parents of children with Down syndrome can help you manage difficult feelings. It can also help you know what kinds of challenges to expect, as well as help you to discover the joys other parents have experienced with their children. To learn more about support groups, see the Other Places To Get Help section of this topic.

Families of children who have Down syndrome may need other types of resources, such as:

  • Financial assistance. Children with Down syndrome have special needs that may create additional expenses for the family. In the United States, some state and federal government services help cover the costs of certain programs. The amount your child receives depends on different things such as your income and your child's level of disability. To find out about financial assistance in your state, call your state's Department of Developmental Disabilities.
  • Estate planning. Become familiar with tax issues and estate planning to ensure that your child will have proper care and necessary resources available should you die. If you have other children who have developed normally, include them in planning for the future of your child who has Down syndrome.
  • Family counseling. This therapy involves regular sessions with a qualified counselor who has experience working with families who have children with Down syndrome.

It's also important to take time for yourself. Common frustrations and frequent highs and lows can all lead to exhaustion. Take good care of yourself so you have the energy to enjoy your child and attend to his or her needs. For more information, see the topic Caregiver Tips.

What to think about

There are several controversial treatments (including supplements, surgery, and medicine) for Down syndrome that either have not been proved helpful or have questionable benefit. Some treatments may even cause physical harm or have ethical implications. Talk with your doctor before using these treatments.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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