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The American Academy of Pediatrics updates its recommendations for pediatricians and families affected by a diagnosis of Down syndrome within a clinical report, “Health Supervision for Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome,” published in the May 2022 Pediatrics. Typically, a diagnosis of Down syndrome is confirmed by chromosome analysis or suspected by prenatal screening. The report (published online April 18) observes that Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal cause of intellectual disability, and that improvement in care and quality of life has increased the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome to average age 60. The report, written by the AAP Council on Genetics, covers questions concerning prenatal intervention and breaks down the care and treatment of children with Down syndrome by age. These children may have many co-occurring medical conditions and cognitive impairment, and 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.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.