Individualized care planning

Children with Down syndrome benefit greatly from early developmental intervention, special education and a specific plan of medical care. During your first visit to the Down Syndrome Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, your child will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, including physicians, therapists, audiologists and social workers.

From the evaluation plus a complete medical history, we will work with you to create a care plan designed specifically for your child’s needs.

Addressing accompanying health issues

Children with Down syndrome typically have accompanying health issues, which makes regular, ongoing care throughout their lives important. Some of these include:

  • Heart issues. About 40 to 50 percent of people with Down syndrome are born with heart defects. Because of this, all children with Down syndrome should visit a pediatric cardiologist to have their heart evaluated for defects.

  • Increased risk for thyroid problems and leukemia

  • Increased risk for vision problems, including crossed eyes (strabismus), nearsightedness or farsightedness, and cataracts

  • Tendency to catch many colds, as well as have bronchitis and pneumonia

Coordinated visits

We try to make visits to the hospital as simple and convenient for you and your child as possible. That’s why we arrange appointments with the specialists your child needs to see at one location — and in the most efficient manner — so you and your child gain the maximum benefit.

Integration with primary care

We work closely with your child’s primary care physician or pediatrician to integrate the care from specialists with your child’s ongoing primary care. In most cases, we will generate a report summarizing your child’s visit so your primary care physician can continue to provide your child the best possible health care based on our assessment of your child and his or her unique needs.

Advocacy and support

The Down Syndrome Center partners with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis to provide additional advocacy and support during your child’s visit.