Finding out that your child has Down syndrome can leave you feeling shocked, saddened, and confused. At the same time, you may be filled with love and hope. It is normal to have a wide range of emotions.
Down syndrome is caused by an abnormal dividing of cells at the start of a pregnancy. Many children with Down syndrome have a flat face with small ears and mouth. They may have weak muscles that get stronger by late childhood. They often have other health problems and learn more slowly. Down syndrome is permanent, but most people who have it are able to live healthy, happy lives. You and your doctor will make a treatment plan based on your child's needs.
Your doctor can refer you to support services such as Down syndrome support groups. These groups help you learn what to expect and how to care for your baby with Down syndrome. Talking with other parents who have children with Down syndrome will help you with the challenges and the joys ahead.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
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