When it comes to our care, kids set the pace

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is committed to providing a supportive, patient-centered setting for children with Down syndrome and their families. We're here for you whether you need help with a complex medical issue or simply have a question or two.

For your family's convenience, we see children at our Minneapolis and St. Paul clinics and work with the staff of both hospitals to coordinate inpatient care.

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Help where and when you need it

There are several ways your child might be referred to the Down syndrome clinic:

  • Nursery or hospital stay. If you plan to have your baby at The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis or at United Hospital in St. Paul, we'll be there! We and our neonatology team work closely to meet your child's needs from the first minutes of life. We also see hospitalized infants and children with Down syndrome to help coordinate their care.
  • Prenatal visits. If your baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome prenatally, we'll help you prepare for your special delivery. We can also coordinate referrals to a perinatologist (obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies) or neonatologist (pediatrician who specializes in treating health problems in newborns).
  • Pediatrician referral. Often, your child’s primary care doctor will suggest a specialist consult to ensure you're getting expert guidance on behavior, development and genetics. We work with your family practitioner to treat and manage medical conditions related to Down syndrome.
  • Self-referral. Whether you're looking for general information or dealing with a particular issue, we can help. We welcome patients with and without referrals.

Preparing for a clinic visit

Knowing what to expect at the Down syndrome clinic, helps make visits less stressful for your child. Depending on age, before the visit, talk about it with your child. Show your child a photo of the doctor from our directory.

Before your first visit, you'll receive an information packet with forms for you and, if age appropriate, your child's teacher to complete. We suggest you also bring: 

  • A birth record or discharge summary for infants
  • An Individualized Education Program (IEP) for school age children

To help us complete initial paperwork and concentrate on your child’s care, it’s best to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. That way, we can zip through the registration and insurance process (remember to bring your insurance card and co-pay) and concentrate on what’s most important to us: talking to you and taking great care of your child.

Depending on your child's needs, your first visit will be with either a genetics or developmental practitioner. We'll spend some time talking about how your child is doing, do a complete physical exam and share medical and developmental recommendations. You'll also have an opportunity to meet with a genetic counselor and receive information on community resources. The first visit usually lasts about one hour.

Flexible care for growing kids

When it comes to caring, we follow your family's lead. If your child is very young, we might spend most of your visit answering your questions. With older children, we'll focus on learning, behavior and any other issues that pop up.

Many of our patients return for regular follow-ups. The conversation may change as your child grows, but one thing stays the same: our commitment to compassionate, personalized care for the whole child.


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