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Medical Conditions

Red CrossMedical Conditions Which Impact Behavior in Children with Down Syndrome
Structural Cardiac Disorders
Peak occurrence in utero -1 month of age
Incidence in DS 40-50%
Current screening practice: Echocardiogram at birth
Structural cardiac defects (atrioventricular canal, ventricular septal defect, Tetrology of Fallot) are responsible for significant morbidity until surgical repair can be achieved. In infants CHD is often associated with congestive heart failure, fluid overload, respiratory distress, fatigue, weight gain, pulmonary
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Managing Autistic-like Behaviors

Autistic-like (Internalizing) Behavior in Children with Down syndrome
Red textile Cross

Autistic-like internalizing behavior is directed inward or toward self. Repetitive behavior, perseveration and social withdrawal may be tolerated by others, but clearly interfere with social interaction.This makes it difficult to engage the child in group or individual therapies and learning opportunities

Mixed internalizing & externalizing behavioral features
Repetitive or perseverative tendencies may exist at a manageable level. The child is capable of social attention and interaction but this ...Read more

Managing Disruptive Behaviors

Orange CrossDisruptive (Externalizing) Behavior in Children with Down syndrome

Externalizing behavior is directed outward into the environment or toward others and typically receives immediate attention from others. As its name would imply, disruptive behavior disrupts the physical or social setting and can be dangerous or result in harm to self or others

Typically, disruptive behaviors are diagnosed in the early school years when a child is between three to seven years old. However, some ...Read more

Sleep Disorders

Yellow CrossSleep Disorders in Children with Down Syndrome

Sleep Apnea

Prevalence of sleep apnea (respiratory pauses) in children with DS is very high 40-60%
Current screening practice: high vigilance, inquire about sleep problems

Sleep study for all children by age 4-5 yr (sooner as required)
Why children with DS are at higher risk for sleep apnea.

Common risk factors and their possible relevance to sleep apnea (younger to older children)

What to look for

Surviving a Behavior Crisis

Surviving a Behavior Crisis

RMS Titanic LifebuoyFor your child

  • Help your child to stay safe and out of harm’s way
  • Be sure your child’s physicians, teachers and friends understand something about the situation
  • Inform others of your efforts to make it better
  • If the child’s school or work environment is fueling the crisis, consider keeping them at home or with family and taking a medical leave-of-absence
For yourself and family


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