Welcome to the Educators page

All individuals with Down syndrome are lifelong learners just like every one of us.

It is very important to presume competency and have high expectations when educating individuals with Down syndrome. Research has shown that effective academic interventions and inclusive education are cornerstones of effective education plans for individuals with Down syndrome so they can attain their educational goals, be gainfully employed and be fully contributing citizens in the community.

Our services, here at the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center are devoted to helping individuals with Down syndrome get access to appropriate education, from birth to adulthood, so that they can reach their maximum potential.

Monday, 15 August 2011 17:51

Thoughts From the Middle of the Night

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When my son Evan was born and I was told he had Down syndrome, I did not cry for a long time.  Then, as I was waiting for my daughter to visit us in the hospital, I saw a girl a few years older with her little brother walking hand in hand to the viewing window of the nursery, and I could not hold my tears back.  I knew that my daughter would never walk her little brother that way.  I knew he would never experience the small pleasures of life I always took for granted.  In those minutes, my heart was broken, and I was overcome with sadness for both my children.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 14:36

Cardiac Issues and Down Syndrome

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Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease (heart disease which is present at birth) is very common in children with Down syndrome.  Around 40-50% of newborns with Down syndrome will have some type of congenital heart defect.  This will often require medications and some type of intervention such as open-heart surgery or a cardiac catheterization.  Sometimes the defects are relatively minor and do not need any treatment.  Fortunately, nowadays the overwhelming majority of congenital heart defects in infants and children with Down syndrome can be fully corrected.  You are most likely overwhelmed with all the new diagnoses:  the diagnosis of Down syndrome, the diagnosis of congenital heart disease.  It is important to realize that you are not alone.  Other parents with similar experiences and the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center are available for support.  Your pediatric cardiologist will monitor and see your child as much as needed and make sure that the best possible medical care is provided.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 14:36

Medical Issues and Down Syndrome

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If you take extra care and consideration, your baby has a very good chance of having a healthy childhood.  You will find that there are risks for extra health concerns but that does not necessarily mean that your child will have any of these problems.  While there is a fairly long list of possible health concerns, most of these are unlikely to occur and actually are fairly uncommon.  Monitoring for these health issues will help to find these problems early if they exist--and early care can go a long way toward minimizing the problem.  Good child health care is important for your child and needs to start with the basics.  The regular well-child visits to your provider offers lots of opportunities to investigate problems, to consider upcoming issues, and to practice prevention.  Here are some of the issues that you will want to emphasize.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 14:07


Careful evaluation of a person with Down syndrome who has a decline in function has broader public health implications. Many of the adults we have seen for a decline in function have either previously been given the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or there was a strong suspicion by the family or caregivers that the person had Alzheimer's disease. In discussing the concern with the family or caregiver, it is clear that many people believe that all persons with Down syndrome will develop Alzheimer's disease. Our experience and the research of others would suggest that not all persons with Down syndrome will develop clinical dementia stemming from Alzheimer's disease. The exact prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in persons with Down syndrome is still being investigated.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 20:42

A Review of the Cases Seen at the Clinic

A review of diagnosed disorders from the current clinical sample of the Adult Down Syndrome Center supports previous case reports showing reversible disorders, such as depression, to be a predominant cause of loss of functioning in this population. Of the 443 adults with Down syndrome seen at the Center, 148 (33%) have presented with a decline in function.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 20:42

Have You Heard?

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Learning to speak, as well as learning in general, becomes even more of a challenge when someone is faced with an additional disability of not hearing or not hearing clearly.  Learning to read, if one cannot clearly distinguish sounds or hear sounds, can be frustrating.  Early detection of hearing problems with children in general and our children with Down syndrome is essential.  Otolaryngologists (Ear, Nose, Throat physicians/ENT) and audiologists are the professionals who can help diagnose and treat hearing problems.

When a patient declines in function, a thorough evaluation is necessary to look for reversible causes or, if no reversible cause is found, to confirm that the decline is consistent with Alzheimer's disease.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 20:41

The Down Syndrome Clinic Model

In the metropolitan Chicago area, the NADS has been providing advocacy services for persons with Down syndrome since 1961. This voluntary association was started by parents of young children and, therefore, for a number of years their focus was on children and adolescents with Down syndrome. However, as their sons and daughters grew beyond childhood, new concerns became evident.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 20:30

Care Management

When an adult with Down syndrome is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, we focus on "the four S's": Safety, Stability (of the environment), Social (emotional) issues, and Symptoms. As the adult with Down syndrome experiences greater decline, family or caregivers will often have difficulty maintaining a safe environment. Falling because of gait apraxia, wandering from home, and touching or using objects in the home that can be harmful if used inappropriately (e.g., the stove) can all be problems that the family or caregiver cannot prevent. In addition, when the adults become bed-bound, frequent turning or changing the position to prevent bedsores is necessary and may be more than the family can provide. Safety is frequently the concern that requires a change in living arrangements and, if no specialty care programs are available, may require admission to a nursing facility.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 20:27

Physical Therapy in Down Syndrome

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As new parents of a child with Down syndrome, you already have your hands full just trying to get acclimated to this new country, to obtain the correct guidebooks and learn a few words of Dutch.  Therefore, you are understandably skeptical when someone suggests that one of the new people you should meet is a physical therapist.  They are recommending that you start your new infant in regular physical therapy.  Why physical therapy?  Don't children with Down syndrome learn to walk and run, just like other children do?

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