How should parents approach behavior issues in their child with Down syndrome?
• Rule out a medical problem that could be related to the behavior. • Consider emotional stresses at home/school/work that may impact behavior. • Work with a professional (psychologist, behavioral pediatrician, counselor) to develop a behavior treatment plan using the ABC’s of behavior. (Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence of the behavior) • Medication may be indicated in particular cases such as ADHD and autism. Intervention strategies for treatment of behavior problems are variable and dependent on the child’s age, severity of the problem and the setting in which the behavior is most commonly seen. Local parent support programs can often help by providing suggestions, support and information about community treatment programs. Psychosocial services in the primary care physician’s office can be used for consultative care regarding behavior issues. Chronic problems warrant referral to a behavioral specialist experienced in working with children and adults with special needs.