Down Syndrome Mental Health: Frequently Asked Questions

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Neurobehavioral Concerns

  Neurobehavioral Concerns in Children with Down Syndrome

Behavior is often a presenting concern by parents on behalf of children with Down syndrome. Although maladaptive behaviors are in no way unique to either young children with trisomy21, or intellectual disability both the type and severity of certain behaviors could be considered a marker, heralding the presence of some underlying neurobiological difference associated...Read more

Disruptive Behaviors

 Disruptive Behaviors in Children with Down Syndrome
The term disruptive behavior refers to an observable pattern of behaviors that disrupt interpersonal or group activities. It is important to distinguish active children with “mental-age" appropriate behavior from those with a mental-age discrepant behavior and a persistent pattern of behavioral problems associated with poor social and/or academic achievement. The psychiatric literature recognizes several different conditions which describes many, but not all, types of disruptive behavior seen in childhood. Not every child with misbehavior has a “disruptive behavior disorder.”...Read more

Sleep Concerns

 Sleep Concerns in Children with Down Syndrome
Sleep, behavior and mental health are all intimately related and can influence each other. The relationship between sleep and behavior is complex and causality runs in both directions. Children with Down syndrome (DS) who have high levels of activity or anxiety may display difficult behavior with bedtime routines. Such children are more likely to have insomnia and problems initiating and/or maintaining consistently restful or restorative sleep. In turn, poor quality sleep can exacerbate existing problems...Read more

Autism-like Behaviors

  Autism-like Behaviors in Children with Down Syndrome

Autism-like behaviors are those behaviors commonly seen in children with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ASD is best defined as a neurobehavioral symptom-complex with three core features, 1) impairments in reciprocal-social interaction, 2) impairments in social-communication and 3) a relatively restricted and stereotyped pattern of behavioral interests and activities. As a neurobehavioral symptom-complex, ASD is a diagnosis based upon observed behaviors and not necessarily its cause or etiology. For the purpose of this discussion...Read more

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