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Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

October 09, 2023, Raz, Dannah G., MD ,
Celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Patient with Down Syndrome smiling

The month of October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. During this month we are excited to build awareness and celebrate all individuals with Down syndrome. At Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s, we recognize each child’s uniqueness and empower individuals with Down syndrome to live their best lives.

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

One of the ways Phoenix Children’s strives to help each child with Down syndrome reach their maximum potential is through our multidisciplinary Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic. When a family brings their child to our multidisciplinary clinic, they are seen by a team of experts that specializes in the care of children with Down syndrome. Our providers take an integrated approach and help support the child’s primary care provider.

A developmental pediatrician leads the team in coordination with a wonderful nurse practitioner, an excellent dietitian and a fantastic rehabilitation team. Our rehabilitation teams consist of an occupational therapist, a physical therapist and a speech/feeding therapist. We also have a clinic coordinator to support our families outside of their appointment time. 

During a child’s 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 the updated American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines to ensure each child receives the best medical care possible.

For children 6 years of age and younger, our providers work closely with our rehabilitation team to monitor each child’s development and provide the family with resources to help support their child in the community and school system.

For children older than 6 years of age, our medical providers work in collaboration with our dietitian to provide families tools to help them meet their child’s nutritional needs.

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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