The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its recommendations for pediatricians and families affected by a diagnosis of Down syndrome, the most common chromosomal cause of intellectual disability.
In a clinical report published in the May 2022 Pediatrics, "Health Supervision for Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome," the AAP says that improvement in care and quality of life has increased the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome to an average age of 60.
Typically, a diagnosis of Down syndrome is confirmed by chromosome analysis or suspected by prenatal screening. Written by the AAP Council on Genetics, the clinical report covers questions concerning prenatal intervention. It also breaks down the care and treatment of children with Down syndrome by age.
Helping children with Down syndrome thrive
Children with Down syndrome may have many co-occurring medical conditions and cognitive impairment. While the level of social-emotional functioning may vary, these skills may be improved with early intervention and therapy through early adulthood.
The authors emphasize that continuing research is critical for directing the care for optimal outcomes of people with Down syndrome.