Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Down Syndrome is focused on helping your child reach his or her full potential. Our multidisciplinary approach helps ensure that each child’s needs are met, utilizing state-of-the-art resources to provide comprehensive collaborative care for children with Down Syndrome and their families.
This approach emphasizes individualized treatment services for children with Down Syndrome based on best practices and standard of care. The Clinic supplements the child’s primary-care physician’s routine medical care. Early intervention helps maximize each child’s developmental potential and allows children to function as independently as possible in all aspects of school, community and family life.
Referrals to our experienced team of professionals are based on the child’s unique medical and developmental needs over the course of his or her life.
Helping Children with Down Syndrome, from Birth to Adolescence Develop and Achieve their Potential
Benefits of Attending the Center for Down Syndrome
- Your child will see our core group of four specialists (Pediatric Neurology, Developmental Pediatrics, Therapy Services and Social Work) during just one appointment
- Initial and follow-up appointments are scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the Month
- Follow-up appointments are covered by a variety of specialists your child is recommended to see (i.e., Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Gastroenterology, etc.)
- You call just one phone number 216.445.7937 (PWDS) to reach the clinic for appointments, resources and questions
- Assessments will be completed by the specialists during your child’s appointment
- Social work will be available before and after your appointment if you need assistance
- Information concerning local community services and organization’s will be provided to nurture your child’s best qualities
Within the Center for Down Syndrome there is an empathetic and compassionate social worker dedicated to providing the parent(s) with:
- Support in the adjustment and coping of having a child with Down Syndrome, and aiding in the navigation of the health care system, school and community agencies.
- Assist parent(s) in identifying and accessing community based resources to support and help care for their child.
- Be an advocate for the patient/family.
- Provide school support.
- Provide support with the eventual transition of pediatric care to adult services.
Our goal is to improve the quality of life for children with Down Syndrome by offering care coordination, assistance, education, identification of resources, advocacy and support to all families. Genetic counseling and prenatal consultation is also available.
What We Treat
Our dedicated Down Syndrome team evaluates, manages and treats babies, children and adolescents with Down Syndrome and their potential associated comorbidities and complications. Health care needs may vary significantly from one child to another and need ongoing monitoring. These include, among others:
- Developmental delay
- Speech and communication disorders
- Cognitive/intellectual disability
- Cervical cord compression due to atlantoaxial subluxation
- Moyamoya disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Behavioral problems
- Early onset dementia
- Complete atrioventricular canal
- Valve disease: acquired mitral and aortic valvular disease
- Duodenal atresia
- Anorectal atresia/stenosis
- Hirschsprung disease
- Feeding difficulties
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Other Areas We Treat
The core members of the team include pediatric neurology, developmental pediatrics, social work, sleep disorders, therapy services, and nutrition services.
Sumit Parikh, MD
Mary Wong, MD
Lauren Goldman, MD
Sleep Disorder Center
Andrea Mucci, MD
Lisa Rhome, RN-BSN
Diana Schnee, MS, RD, CSP, LD
Other dedicated specialists may include medical genetics, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology (ENT), cardiology, endocrinology, psychiatry and psychology, physical medicine and hematology-oncology, all of whom have experience and expertise in managing children with Down Syndrome.
Joseph Austerman, DO
Carrie Budzar, RN-BSN
Fetal Care Center
Fatema Ghasia, MD
Deborah Goldman, MD
Rabi Hanna, MD
Brandon Hopkins, MD
Cynthia Johnson, PhD
Amy Shealy, MS, LGC
Elias Traboulsi, MD, M.Ed
Vickie Zurcher, MD
Programs and Services
Art & Music Therapy
Art Therapy is engaging in the creation of art, with the help of an art therapist, to assist with both emotional and physical healing and growth. Anyone can benefit from Art Therapy; it does not depend on talent or technical ability. The art therapist will discuss your interests and goals for the session and suggest art activities, which may include painting, sculpting, drawing, collage, or craftwork.
Music Therapy, under the supervision of a board certified music therapist, combines music and therapeutic techniques and aids in the physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being of the child during treatment of an illness.
Caring Canine Program
Cleveland Clinic’s Caring Canine teams are certified therapy dogs and volunteer handlers who provide emotional support, increase smiles and laughter, and generally reduce anxiety for patients and their families. Dog handlers and their pets deliver world-class service by visiting patients, families, and visitors during their time at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Child Life Specialists are health professionals who assist children and adolescents and their families as they prepare for and cope with pediatric medical and emotional experiences such as surgery, hospitalization, tests, and procedures. We’ve discovered that when children understand what is happening to them, they cope more effectively and experience less trauma and anxiety. The Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation has a dedication Child Life Specialist available to our patients during their time with us.
Our mission for Pediatric Palliative Care at Cleveland Clinic Children’s is to provide compassionate family-centered care to children of all ages facing complex, chronic conditions, while supporting and educating caregivers. The team will advocate to promote quality of life, enhance comfort, alleviate suffering, and foster coordination of care. Patients in the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation have access to a dedicate nurse care coordinator from palliative care.
The Spiritual Care Department at Cleveland Clinic provides religious and spiritual needs for our patients, their families, and loved ones. Our clinically trained chaplains are committed to providing compassionate and appropriate spiritual care that respects the beliefs of each person.
Appointments & Location
For information or to make an appointment with the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Down Syndrome, please call 216.445.7937 (PWDS).
Our offices are located at Cleveland Clinic's main campus:
R Building - Cleveland Clinic Children's Outpatient Center
8950 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
For Medical Professionals
If you are coming to Cleveland Clinic through a referral or second opinion request from an outside hospital, please send the following medical records in advance of your appointment in our clinic:
- Any prior evaluation or reports from healthcare physicians
- Results of all prior studies including laboratory tests results, genetic test results, pathology reports (where relevant), EEG reports (where relevant), and radiology reports
- All MRI and other neuroimaging studies on a CD or can be uploaded to our secure website
The above should be sent to:
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Down Syndrome
ATTN: Dr. Sumit Parikh
9500 Euclid Avenue, S60
Cleveland, OH 44195
Resources for Children with Down Syndrome
- Buddy Up Tennis: Serves individuals with Down syndrome by providing a fun, active, and supportive environment for our Athletes to grow both physically and personally by engaging in activities that impact athletic, social, and emotional development.
- Gigi’s Playhouse: An achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community. GiGi’s Playhouse offers more than 30 therapeutic and educational programs that advance literacy, math skills, motor skills and more; all of which are free of charge.
- Specs 4 Us: Improves the sight and quality of life for children and adults with Down syndrome and other unique facial features by providing custom frames that fit their unique needs.
- The Up Side of Downs: Provides support, education and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and communities.
Resources for Children with Disabilities Including Down Syndrome
- Live Special: Resources and service links to enhance the quality of life for individuals with special needs.
- Youth Challenge: Brings together young people with physical disabilities and teen volunteers who inspire each other through adapted sports, recreation and social growth activities.
County Resources in the Greater Cleveland Area
- Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Lorain County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Known as MURRAY RIDGE CENTER)
- Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Cuyahoga County Board of Health
- Geauga County Health Department
- Lake County General Health District
- Lorain County Public Health
- Medina County Health Department
- Portage County Health District
- Summit County Public Health