Part II: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Adolescents and Young Adults With Down Syndrome: 12-21 Years

Susan Van Cleve, MSN, RN, CPNP; Sheila Cannon, MEd; William I. Cohen, MD


J Pediatr Health Care. 2006;20(3):198-205. 

In This Article


Enormous gains have been made in the health, education, employment, and community living for persons with Down Syndrome (DS), thus allowing them opportunities not imaginable 25 years ago. As health care providers, nurse practitioners (NPs) work with children and adolescents with DS in primary, specialty, and acute care health settings. To effectively care for these individuals, NPs must have knowledge and understanding of the medical conditions and developmental, educational, and social needs associated with persons with DS. NPs also must be knowledgeable about the legal and health care policies that affect these individuals because of their disabilities.

In a previous article (Van Cleve & Cohen, 2006), the authors reviewed and discussed health care guidelines for working with children with DS from birth through 12 years of age. This article will summarize the current clinical guidelines for persons with DS from 13 to 21 years and review relevant issues related to the health care of this population, including sexuality concerns that arise at the time of puberty (Cohen, 1999; American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] Committee on Genetics, 2001). In addition, we will discuss educational issues, focusing specifically on the process of transition.


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