Mental health issues of children with intellectual disability need to be addressed

by Richard Hastings, Bruce Tonge, Glenn Melvin, Kylie Gray, Vaso Totsika – High-quality epidemiological research shows children and adolescents with intellectual disability are four times more likely to have diagnosable mental health problems compared to others their age. This mental health inequality clearly needs attention. Part of the problem is a process called diagnostic overshadowing: […]

Life split before and after hearing the words: Down syndrome

by Valle Dwight – I think it’s serendipitous that my second son’s birthday is so close to Mother’s Day. When Aidan arrived, I had already been a mother for more than three years. My first son, Timmy — a strong-willed, inquisitive boy — had taught my husband, Phil, and me many things, like how to […]

One father’s life after Down syndrome

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by Corbie Hill – Paul Austin’s daughter, Sarah, is thoughtful and helpful, though she goes about it her own way. He recalls an awful day, years ago, when he went for an angry walk after getting in a fight with his brother over the phone. Paul had a broken arm, his wife Sally was out […]

Before having my own, I was cynically skeptical about loving children with Down syndrome

by Meriah Nichols – What feels like a million years ago, I visited Baby Center’s Down syndrome Board. I was immersing myself in the questions, the comments, the endless threads. The talk, the chatter, the crying, the heartache. The “brags.” One signature struck me in particular: “I never knew I wanted a child with Down syndrome until […]

Couple with Down syndrome get thousands of fans after prom photo

by Amber Elliott – Sydney Simpson wanted only one boy to escort her to Seven Lakes High School’s senior dance: Jake Shabet. Simpson and Shabet both have Down syndrome. The pair met near the beginning of the school year last year, and the 17-year-old decided early on that Shabet was her boyfriend, says her mother, […]

Brain protein finding could lead to Alzheimer’s treatment in Down syndrome

by Bradley J. Fikes – A team at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla has reported an explanation for why people with Down syndrome often develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study builds on research last year that suggested a cause for the mental disability that accompanies Down syndrome. If the continuing analysis results in […]

Student with Down syndrome earns recognition for self-advocacy

Fourth grader Dashiell Meier.

by Elena Kadvany – Dashiell Meier might be Palo Alto’s most accomplished 10 year old. The Ohlone Elementary School fourth-grader with Down syndrome has been to Sacramento several times to advocate for Down syndrome awareness. This February, he traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress as a representative of the Silicon Valley […]

How empty nest syndrome hits parents of children with learning disabilities

by Kathleen Hawkins – The impact of young adults leaving the home can leave parents feeling anxious, alone and at a loss for what to do. But for the adults of children with learning disabilities who have often cared for the basic needs of their child their whole life, the move can bring a more […]

Receiving the news of a Down syndrome diagnosis

by Liz Collin – A Minnesota family wasn’t expecting what doctors told them more than a year ago. Their soon-to-be son had Down syndrome. Now, a special basket is changing the conversation about the diagnosis. When the Carroll family had their second pregnancy in two years, they were overjoyed. “We like it busy and crazy. […]

What about a Disney princess with Down syndrome?

Disney princesses come from different races, even different species, if you count mermaids. But one California couple believes that heroes or heroines with special needs are underrepresented, and so they’re petitioning Walt Disney Studios to create a Disney princess with Down Syndrome. Keston Ott-Dahl and her wife Andrea are mothers to 15-month old Delaney. The […]