Developmental Regression in Children with Down Syndrome
Bernad Ripoll, Susana
University of Kansas
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This study presents in detail the data on a group of 20 participants, female and male, from 2 to 12 years old with Down syndrome (DS) who experienced developmental regression. This study took place at the Down syndrome clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland. These 20 participants were divided into 4 groups according to their age at regression, comorbid condition, and the characteristics of their regression. Using retrospective chart review, data showed that all 20 children lost communication, social skills, and play skills. Ten children lost some daily living skills, 8 participants had apparent motor skill changes, and 12 developed sleep disturbances. After regression 16 participants received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders or pervasive developmental disorders and only one received the diagnosis of stereotype movement disorder with loss. With the onset of regression, data also showed that there was an emergence of maladaptive behaviors among participants. The most common maladaptive behaviors were stereotypy, developed in 13 cases; sensory problems in 11 participants; perseveration developed in 16 participants; and sleep disturbance in 12 cases. Other symptoms such as self-injury behaviors were developed by 9 participants, and mood swings in 8 participants. Behavior problems, Pica and psychotic like behavior were the least frequently observed. For children older than 8 years, onset of mental health problems (mood swings, psychotic-like behavior and SIBs) was very frequent. Results were also compared to other regressive syndromes such as childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome, and regression in autism.
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