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When you learn your child has Down syndrome, you may feel uncertain about their future.

But you can take comfort in knowing that they can lead a healthy and fulfilling life with the right therapies — and lots of love and support.

As you navigate your child’s journey with Down syndrome, Cleveland Clinic Children’s healthcare providers are here for them — and for you— every step of the way. We offer compassionate support and personalized treatment designed to help your child grow, thrive and gain a sense of independence.

Why Choose Us to Care for Down Syndrome in Children?

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Caring approach:

We want your child to have the best life possible. Our compassionate team will give them and your family emotional and practical support. And, together, we’ll make sure your child gets the right care, education and resources.

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Comprehensive treatment:

Our care will focus on all aspects of your child’s health and well-being. We’ll help manage any challenges they face — emotional, physical or cognitive.

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Trusted experts:

Our healthcare providers are experts at working with kids who have Down syndrome and their families. And when you choose Cleveland Clinic Children’s, you’ll have access to specialists from many different areas guiding and supporting your child and your family. Meet our team.

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Patient-centered care:

Down syndrome affects each person’s abilities differently. That’s why we don’t have one single care plan. We personalize your child’s care and therapies to their needs throughout their lifetime.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic Children’s a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the world.

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Virtual visits:

Sometimes, you may be able to meet with your child’s providers online using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Our virtual visits are an easy and convenient way to get care. Your child’s providers will let you know if this is an option.

Diagnosing Down Syndrome in Children

There are different genetic causes of Down syndrome, including:

  • Trisomy 21 (three copies of chromosome 21).
  • Translocation (chromosome 21 attaches to another chromosome).
  • Mosaicism (some cells contain an extra chromosome 21).

About 95% of people with Down syndrome have trisomy 21, so this term is often used interchangeably with Down syndrome. Your care team will sometimes test for Down syndrome before birth but will always confirm the diagnosis after birth.

Down syndrome tests during pregnancy

Your healthcare provider may suggest testing if they feel there’s an increased risk for — or if there are signs of — a chromosomal disorder. But the decision to get testing during pregnancy belongs to you and your family.

We offer screening tests, including blood tests and ultrasound tests, to look for signs of Down syndrome. We also offer chorionic villus sampling (CVS testing) and amniocentesis to diagnose Down syndrome. We usually do CVS testing toward the end of the first trimester of pregnancy and amniocentesis during the second trimester.

Diagnosing Down syndrome after birth

Your healthcare provider will check for the physical traits of Down syndrome when your child is born. They’ll also do a blood test, which lets them see your child’s DNA makeup so they can confirm a diagnosis.

Checking for complications of Down syndrome in children

Each person with Down syndrome faces unique healthcare needs. Your child may have other health issues, such as a heart condition, ear and hearing problems or a digestive disorder. We’ll care for your child’s entire well-being, diagnosing and treating any complications as a team.

Meet Our Pediatric Down Syndrome Team

Like you, we want your child to have the best life possible. If you choose Cleveland Clinic Children’s for Down syndrome care, you’ll be in the hands of a skilled team of providers that will guide, teach and support your family.

All of our Down syndrome specialists will work with your child’s pediatrician or other primary care provider and your family. Their treatments are separate from your child’s routine medical care. This team could include:


We offer treatment for Down syndrome at the following location in Northeast Ohio.

Treating Down Syndrome in Children

It’s important to diagnose Down syndrome as soon as possible so your child can get all the necessary support. With early care, we can help your child reach their full potential as they grow up.

Your family will start treatment by working with providers from multiple specialties. These include developmental pediatrics, sleep medicine, nutrition, therapy services and social work. We’ll spend time talking with your family to understand how Down syndrome affects your child.

We’ll also recommend follow-up visits with other Cleveland Clinic Children's healthcare providers, depending on your child’s needs. We have many exceptional pediatric heart doctors (cardiologists), pediatric neurologists, geneticists, digestive system experts (gastroenterologists), hormone specialists (endocrinologists) and psychiatrists or psychologists — to name just a few. All these experts can help your child grow and thrive, depending on their needs.

Down Syndrome Support Services at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

Having a child with Down syndrome can bring unique challenges for your child and your whole family. We’re here to help all of you — every step of the way. In addition to expert healthcare, we offer:

  • The Caring Canine Program (visits from therapy dogs while at Cleveland Clinic Children's).
  • Child life specialists.
  • Pediatric art and music therapy.
  • Pediatric palliative care.
  • Spiritual care.

Social work

Our compassionate social workers are here to support your family through changes and milestones at every point in your child’s growth and development. They’ll guide and teach you as your child gets medical treatment, goes to school and moves on to adult healthcare providers. Our social work team can also connect your child with community resources, like special educational and athletic programs and vision care.

Taking the Next Step

Your child’s Down syndrome diagnosis can change your family’s life in a split second. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Cleveland Clinic Children’s is here to support your family and make sure your child lives a healthy and fulfilling life. Our experienced and compassionate providers partner with your family — guiding you to the right care and resources based on your needs. No matter what challenges and joys come your way, we’ll be right there beside you and your child.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Down syndrome experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Down syndrome experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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