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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

March 21, 2021, Dannah G. Raz, MD
Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day
Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day, which falls on March 21, has been celebrated globally since 2006, and has been officially recognized by the United Nations since 2012. That it falls on the 21st day of the month highlights the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome in individuals with Trisomy 21. The day is a celebration of all individuals with Down syndrome.

Trisomy 21, which causes Down syndrome, is the most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in the United States. Approximately 6,000 babies a year are born with Down syndrome.

We celebrate individuals with Down syndrome every day here at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s, but especially on World Down Syndrome Day. We celebrate to promote awareness and to empower individuals with Down syndrome to live their best lives. There are times when the accomplishments and achievements of these individuals are overlooked, so on this day we highlight the positive impact these individuals have on our communities and provide them the recognition they deserve for what they do. We understand and recognize the uniqueness of each individual with Down syndrome and celebrate them at all ages.

One of the ways Phoenix Children’s strives to help each child reach their maximum potential is through our multidisciplinary Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic. This clinic is housed within Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. When a child is seen within our multidisciplinary clinic they are seen by a team of experts that specializes in the care of children with Down syndrome to support the child’s primary care provider. A developmental pediatrician leads the team in coordination with a wonderful nurse practitioner and a fantastic rehabilitation team. Our rehabilitation teams consist of an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a speech therapist and a feeding therapist. We also have a registered nurse and clinic coordinator to support our families outside of their appointment time. 

During each visit with our multidisciplinary team, we obtain a thorough medical and developmental history and conduct a physical examination. Children with Down syndrome are at increased risk of other medical conditions, such as heart problems, hearing and vision problems, thyroid disease and gastrointestinal issues. They are also at higher risk for developmental conditions, such as intellectual disability, global developmental delay, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, among others. Our medical providers follow American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines to ensure children with Down syndrome whom we see receive the best medical care possible. Our medical providers work closely with our rehabilitation team to monitor each child’s development and provide the family with resources to help support their child’s development in the community and school system. We offer a holistic approach, in collaboration with the child’s primary care provider and other medical specialists, to ensure the needs of each child and family are met.

At Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s, and in the Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic, we know that every child with Down syndrome is their own unique person. We highlight each child’s strengths while supporting their family in their advocacy efforts. We are grateful to be able to partner with organizations in our community to ensure individuals with Down syndrome receive the care, support and recognition they deserve.

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