Down Syndrome

Helping Children with Down Syndrome Achieve Their Full Potential

Duke pediatric geneticists provide coordinated, lifelong care for children with Down syndrome. As part of the Duke Comprehensive Down Syndrome program, your child will receive care, support, and resources to become as healthy and independent as possible.

Caring for Children with Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that is often diagnosed before birth. In addition to developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, speech problems, and hearing loss, children with Down syndrome may experience other medical conditions including heart abnormalities, GI problems, pulmonary problems, spinal conditions, neurological concerns, and problems with their gross motor skills.

  • Our comprehensive Down Syndrome program includes experts with years of experience working closely with individuals with Down syndrome. Our team includes specialists in genetic counseling, speech and feeding therapy, nutrition, social work, and physical therapy. 
  • We also provide referrals to specialists in ophthalmology, audiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, neurology, psychology, and occupational therapy. Our ongoing care of your child ensures related medical conditions are diagnosed early and treated promptly. 

Our Research-Based Approach

Many of our doctors are also researchers who are nationally recognized for advancing the health and well-being of people with Down syndrome. Our research into lifelong preventive care and monitoring for Down syndrome and our collaboration with experts from different specialties are ongoing. We are currently investigating why some individuals with Down syndrome may have a sudden decline in thinking, called “Down syndrome disintegrative disorder.” Through these studies, we hope to identify the causes and potential treatment for this cognitive decline.

Our research program is supported by the Anna’s Angels Foundation, which is dedicated to improving cognition and communication abilities in individuals with Down syndrome.


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