Down Syndrome

See also:    Disabilities    Metabolic Disorders   

Internet Resources

Erica Prussing et al
The essential feature of both conditions (amentia and dementia) is the absence or imperfection of normal mental faculties, without reference to the physical defect or default, or the pathological condition underlying or associated with them.
H.B. Wilbur
Children with DS present a challenge to NPs and other health care providers because of their unique developmental and medical differences. Part I of this Clinical Practice Guideline is intended to be used as a reference and guide when caring for young children with Down syndrome and their families. Part II: Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Adolescent and Young Adult With Down Syndrome will be published in the JPHC May/June 2006 issue.
Susan N. Van Cleve
Among persons with Down Syndrome, about 10% may have autism. The occurrence is under-recognized. Diagnosing autism in persons with Down syndrome is akin to the problem of the mental retardation overshadowing a diagnosis of mental illness.
Robert Pary
As many as ten percent of persons with Down syndrome may also suffer from autism. Many cases go undiagnosed, or are diagnosed at a later age. Diagnosis and treatment of autism is much more critical than for Down syndrome.
Glenn Vatter
Participants showed a better terminal accuracy and a faster learning of the task when the alternative correct responses were each followed by unique different outcomes than when nondifferential outcomes were arranged. These findings confirm that the differential outcomes procedure can be a useful tool to ameliorate discriminative learning deficits and demonstrate the benefits of this procedure for people with Down syndrome.
Angeles F. Estevez et al
More Than Down Syndrome: A Parent's View; Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Look at What We Know; Dual Diagnosis; Language & Communication; Gross Motor Development; Changing Behavior & Teaching New Skills; Sensory Integration
Parents must educate themselves and others about this condition. Families must work on building a team of health-care professionals, therapists, and educators who are interested in working with their child to promote the best possible outcome.
George Capone
There is good correlation between DSM-IV criteria for autism and subscales scores on the ABC in subjects with DS. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using the ABC to characterize the neurobehavioral phenotype of a cohort of children with trisomy 21 and ASD for ongoing research purposes.
George Capone et al
Studies available report prevalence rates of autism in Down syndrome that vary from .8% to 11.4%. This frequency of autism is comparable to that of persons with mental retardation of unspecified etiology.
Micaela Nordhauser
Down syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormality, occurring once in approximately every 800 to 1,000 live births. Over 350,000 people in the United States have down syndrome.
The purpose of the guidelines is to assist those who authorize and provide health care to children with special needs in determining medical necessity for therapy services, including recommendations for frequency and intensity of therapy.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
There is virtually no literature describing Down's syndrome children who have autistic features. Yet everyone who runs a Down's syndrome clinic occasionally sees a child of this type.
Mary Coleman
Autism is not a new disorder, the 'explosion' in autism cases, whether apparent or real, notwithstanding. While it is true the first description of "early infantile autism" by Dr. Leo Kanner did not occur until 1943, certainly disorder did not begin there. Surely autistic disorder, like mental retardation, has been one of man's medical maladies from earliest times. In fact until 1943 autistic disorder was generally simply subsumed under the category of 'mental retardation.' Sometimes that is still the case of mistaken diagnosis even today. In fact, the present-day practice of reclassifying cases from mental retardation to autistic disorder may account for some of the 'explosion' in new cases of autism.
Darold A. Treffert
Down described mongolism in his Letsom lectures entitled 'On some of the mental afflictions of childhood an youth' delivered in 1887. He published relatively little, but was awarded several medals for his publications on psychiatry.
Who Named It?
The diagnostic link between lack of speech (in the absence of deafness or obvious structural impairment) and mental retardation depends on the premise that behaviour is in general an accurate reflection of internal mental processes, and that nothing is inhibiting the overt production of communication and "masking" more sophisticated language. This premise is not always valid, and the methods for determining whether it is valid may not be the ones now practised in the field of mental retardation psychology. This target article reviews several cases in which people with deafness, physical handicap, and learning disabilities were reclassified out of the category of mental retardation. The recent debate over facilitated communication" suggests that the burden of proof may lie with those who hold that the actual expressive communication of people diagnosed as mentally retarded does adequately represent their internal language.
Chris Borthwick, Rosemary Crossley
There is a consistent difference of some 15 IQ points between the test means of American black and white citizens, and there has been a fierce debate as to whether this can be best accounted for by black intellectual inferiority or by such environmental factors as prejudice and discrimination. However, even supporters of the environmental hypothesis have neglected to apply it to the population - people with Down's Syndrome - to which it is most clearly applicable, and this failure of imagination indicates the boundaries of discourse in the field of intellectual disability. The complex relationship between racism and prejudice against people with Disability is illustrated by Dr Down's use of the term 'mongolism'. Down's characterisation of people with intellectual impairment as equivalent both to children and to people of different races fits the need for a working explanation of intellectual impairment. The characterisation is none the less worthless, and we need new frames to shape our observations.
Chris Borthwick
Self-Talk in Adults With Down Syndrome; Did you say something or Were You Just Talking to Yourself? Strategies for Augmenting Communication; Why Bother? Networking an Adult Child With A Disability; etc.
Preventing obesity through an active lifestyle, nutrition education, and emotional support from family and friends is the ideal answer. In a perfect world, this begins in early childhood. Great idea, but not always easy to put into practice.
Joan E. Medlen

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