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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

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"I" Statements

Author: Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist, Adult Down Syndrome Center

"I" statements are a way to share how we feel in a clear, calm, and respectful way. The handouts pictured below explain the components of "I" statements. There is a

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD, and Dennis McGuire, PhD, LCSW - Adult Down Syndrome Center

*This article was adapted from  Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Guide to Emotional and Behavioral Strengths and Challenges, 2nd Edition . What is attention-deficit/hyperactivi

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Individuals with Down Syndrome Video

Author: Joseph Pereira - Harvard Medical School, MassGeneral Hospital for Children

The video below was narrated and presented by Joseph Pereira, a 4th year medical student at Harvard Medical School, as part of his work with the MGH Down Syndrome Program . He shares information about

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)

Author: Abby Rowley, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adult Down Syndrome Center

The handouts linked below were developed to teach individuals with Down syndrome how to think more positively. If an individual has an automatic negative thought (or ANT), they can squish it or brush

Behavior Change

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Any and all behavior change should be viewed as a possible communication tool. For some people with Down syndrome (DS), like some without DS, a behavior change may be a form of communication. This is

Behavior Changes in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome Webinar Recording (4/28/2020)

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD and Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L - Webinar

The video below is a recording of a webinar presented by Brian Chicoine, MD and Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L on April 28, 2020. Dr. Chicoine is the co-founder and medical director of the Adult Down Syndrom

Behavior Changes in Individuals with Down Syndrome Webinar Recording (2/23/2023)

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD, Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L, and Abby Rowley, LCSW - Adult Down Syndrome Center

The video below is a recording of a webinar presented by Brian Chicoine, MD, Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L, and Abby Rowley, LCSW, on February 23, 2023. In this webinar, the presenters define, iden

Body Changes When Anxious, Angry, or Stressed

Author: Adult Down Syndrome Center

This handout describes things that our bodies may feel or do when we are anxious, angry, or stressed.

Body Changes When Happy

Author: Adult Down Syndrome Center

This handout describes things that our bodies may feel or do when we are happy.

Calming vs. Coping Strategies

Author: Abby Rowley, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adult Down Syndrome Center

What is the difference between calming and coping strategies? Many times, we use the terms "calming" and "coping" interchangeably. There is often overlap in the str

Catatonia in Down Syndrome: A Treatable Cause of Regression

Author: Ghaziuddin et al. (2015) - Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (2015)

Abstract Objective:  The main aim of this case series report is to alert physicians to the occurrence of catatonia in Down syndrome (DS). A second aim is to stimulate the study of regression

Catatonia in Down Syndrome: Systematic Approach to Diagnosis, Treatment and Outcome Assessment Based on a Case Series of Seven Patients

Author: Miles et al. - Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (2019)

Abstract Objective:  The goal is to expand our knowledge of catatonia occurring in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome (DS) by describing the first prospective, consecutive, well-

Common Mental Health Disorders and Cognitive Decline in a Longitudinal Down Syndrome Cohort

Author: Idris et al. - BJPsych Open (2023)

Abstract Background:  Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and Alzheimer's disease. In the general population, common mental disorders (CMDs), inc

Contingency Maps

Author: Abby Rowley, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Contingency maps can help an individual visualize their behavioral choices and the outcomes/consequences of their behaviors. They can help make the problem-solving process more concrete. The individua

Depression in People with Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Depression is a mental health condition that is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and/or a decreased interest in things that an individual previously enjoyed. Depression is more common i

Depressive Disorders in Adults with Down Syndrome

Author: McGuire, Chicoine

This is an article published in The Habilitative Mental Healthcare Newsletter in 1996.

Down Syndrome and Mental Health

Author: Down Syndrome Australia - Resource

The resource found at the link below is an 11-page summary for individuals with Down syndrome and their families on promoting and maintaining good mental health. Dr. Chicoine and Dr. McGuire's

Down Syndrome Disintegrative Disorder: A Clinical Regression Syndrome of Increasing Importance

Author: Rosso et al. - Pediatrics (2020)

Abstract Down syndrome disintegrative disorder (DSDD), a developmental regression in children with Down syndrome (DS), is a clinical entity that is characterized by a loss of previously acquired adapt

Eating Refusal

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We received the following question:  I have a son with Down syndrome. He had testicular cancer in his late 20s. Since then, he seems to have developed an eating disorder. He always feels he i

Electroconvulsive Therapy, Catatonia, and Regression in People with Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment that involves sedating an individual with anesthesia and then inducing a seizure with a short electrical stimulation of the brain. ECT can be frightening

Emotions Visual

Author: Adult Down Syndrome Center

This visual shows pictures of different emotions we might feel.

Evaluating Challenging Behaviors in Adults with Down Syndrome

Author: Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group - USA - DS-ASD Workgroup

Evaluating Challenging Behaviors in Adults with Down Syndrome    is a resource for health care professionals developed by the Down Syndrome-Autism Spectrum Disorder Workgroup of the

Fear of Heights

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD and Abby Rowley, LCSW - Adult Down Syndrome Center

We have seen people with Down syndrome with a variety of phobias. Concern about heights is one we see more commonly. For this fear in particular, we often ask if it is indeed a phobia or if it is caus

Finding a Mental Health Provider

Author: Adult Down Syndrome Center - Resource

How can I find a therapist, psychiatrist, or other mental health provider with experience working with individuals with Down syndrome? Here are a few suggestions.  Contact a Down syndrome cli

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.

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