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Down Syndrome - What Happens

Although every child is different, you may find it helpful to understand some patterns of Down syndrome as your child grows. It also helps to know that most people who have Down syndrome can flourish and live healthy, happy, and productive lives.

Many of the challenges for people with Down syndrome are related to intellectual disability and health problems. Problems may come up at different ages.

Babies

Your baby may reach growth and development milestones later than other children do. These may include rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, and talking.

Children

In this age group, health problems and developmental disabilities can lead to behavior problems. For example, a child may develop oppositional defiant disorder in part because he or she does not communicate well or understand others' expectations.

Teens

Puberty starts at about the same ages for teens with Down syndrome as for other teens.

They may face social difficulties and vulnerabilities, such as abuse, injury, and other types of harm. They may also have a hard time handling strong emotions and feelings. Sometimes these struggles can lead to mental health problems, especially depression.

Adults

Men with Down syndrome most often are sterile and cannot father children. Many women with Down syndrome can have children, and they usually have early menopause.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 01, 2013
    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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