How can I take care of my child with Down syndrome?

Joan Guthrie Medlen
Nutrition & Dietetics

By being a good parent.

Being a parent of a child with Down syndrome is just that: being a parent. There are some things you can do to help you along the way, though.

  1. Connect with a local support group.
  2. Talk with other parents of children with Down syndrome.
  3. Check out for some great health information.
  4. When you're at, download the Down syndrome health care guidelines.
  5. Find a pediatrician you can talk to. It's going to be important that you have a partner on your journey you are comfortable with!
  6. Remember your other children - you are a family!

There are some excellent resources to guide you. Consider "Babies with Down Syndrome, a New Parents' Guide," from Woodbine House. It is a well-written and lovingly compiled set of information for parents of newborns.

Another great book is "Welcome to Holland" which tells a parents journey of the first years of parenthood in a thoughtful and caring way.

Most important, your child will lead you. Just as your other children lead you to what they need to be successful, so will your child with Down syndrome.

It's a great journey. It's rich and full of trials and tribulations. It's colorful and full of joy, too. I'm 22 years into the journey with a child who has Down syndrome and autism along with celiac disease. He and his brother have taught me how to apply the research and parenting skills so they work for them.

Continue Learning about Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, is caused by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21. The risk for Down syndrome is higher in babies of mothers older than 35, who are more likely to have abnormal eggs that may lead to the cond...

ition. Common symptoms include problems in growth, hearing, vision and immunity, along with problems of the thyroid, heart, muscles and nerves. The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.