Adult Letter of Introduction

Thank you for visiting this section of our website. The information provided in this section will likely provide you with up-to-date facts about Down syndrome. We are fortunate to have the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center right here in the Capital District area to provide information and support to parents, professionals and individuals who seek information on issues about Down syndrome.

The Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center (DSAHRC) is a nonprofit organization with a Board of Directors, a professional staff, and families and professionals committed to increasing opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome. The purpose of DSAHRC is to enlighten and encourage the broader community to recognize the individuality, uniqueness, and capabilities of individuals with Down syndrome, and to reflect the hopes and dreams of those individuals and their families.

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:39

Down Syndrome Health Care Guidelines: Ages 13-21 Years

(Based on “Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome” as published in Pediatrics August 2011) Ages 13 – 21 Years
  • Thyroid function test annually (FT4 and TSH).
  • Auditory testing (annually).
  • Review signs and symptoms of myopathy. If myopathy signs exists, obtain neck X-rays (C-spine). Contact physician if change in gait, change in the use of arms or hands, change in bladder function, neck pain, head tilt, torticollis, or new-onset weakness. (Note: Some athletic organizations might require a C-spine for entry and participation.)
  • Hemoglobin count annually. Include (a) ferritin and CRP or (b) reticulocyte count if there is a concern for iron deficiency or if hemoglobin < 11g.
  • Review signs and symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Screen for celiac disease with IgA and TTG-IgA on an annual basis, if symptoms present.
  • Review behaviour and social progress.
  • If a heart condition is identified, monitor for signs and symptoms of congenital heart failure.
  • Ophthalmologic exam, looking especially for keratoconus and cataracts (every 3 years).
  • Low calorie, high-fiber diet. Regular exercise. Monitor for obesity. Consider referral to a dietician, especially for individuals who are “overweight” or “obese.”
  • Use growth charts for Down syndrome. Use body-mass index (BMI) to assess weight proportionality.
  • Continue speech and language therapy, as indicated.
  • Facilitate transition: guardianship, financial planning, behavioural problems, school placement, vocational training, independence with hygiene and self-care, group homes, work settings.
  • Discuss sexual development and behaviours, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, recurrence risk for offspring.
  • Discuss physical and psychosocial changes through puberty, need for gynaecologic care in the pubescent female.
  • Review signs and symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Referral to Down syndrome parent group or family support and resources. Local referral to the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center.

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