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Down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which causes physical growth delays, intellectual disability, poor muscle tone and specific facial and physical features.

Children with down syndrome are more likely to experience feeding difficulties as a baby and be overweight or obese as children due to their lower muscle tone, reduced energy expenditure, poor diets and lack of physical activity. If your baby or child has down syndrome and feeding difficulties our specialist dietitians can help.

Babies and children with down syndrome and feeding difficulties, malnutrition, or overweight and obesity can benefit from seeing our multidisciplinary team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians to ensure they can develop their mental and physical motor skills to the best of their ability and have an optimal nutritional status. Our team can ensure your baby or child's feeding problems do not hinder their full potential and development with an individualised treatment plan. To book an assessment please contact us.

What are the common feeding difficulties and nutritional problems in babies and children with down syndrome?

The range of ability in babies and children with down syndrome ranges greatly and there can be many different symptoms and factors which affect their feeding abilities. Here are some nutritional problems and symptoms which can occur in babies and children with down syndrome:

If your baby or child has down syndrome and is experiencing any of the symptoms above, they may benefit from being assessed by our multidisciplinary feeding team. Your baby or child with down syndrome may not yet be exerting obvious signs of malnutrition or overnutrition but you think it might progress into something more serious. To talk to our experienced multidisciplinary team please contact us.

Jada and Ezra being fed by saffron

Why do children with down syndrome have problems with feeding?

There are many reasons why your baby or child with down syndrome is experiencing nutritional problems and/or feeding difficulties. Babies and children with down syndrome have a lower muscle tone and a thicker and enlarged tongue which can make sucking and swallowing difficult as a baby or child. You may find feeding your baby or child with down syndrome can be a challenge, but with help and individualised dietary advice from our dietitians you can make sure your child is getting all the nutrition they need to thrive and grow to their full potential. Overweight and obesity tends to be common in children with down syndrome as they get older, which can worsen their medical and heart conditions, and also make caring for them much harder. Overweight and obesity is common in babies and children with down syndrome due to their lower energy expenditure and ability to eat foods which are higher in calories and lower in nutrients. Children with down syndrome also tend to do less physical activity than the recommended amount. If your baby or child with down syndrome is experiencing any feeding or nutritional difficulties please speak to our team and book an assessment.

What treatment can you provide for children with feeding concerns and down syndrome?

Our team of dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists will assess and treat your baby or child with down syndrome with an individualised plan which suits them. Treatment of your baby or child will differ according to the feeding difficulties that they are experiencing; your baby or child will be assessed, treated and monitored according to their nutritional diagnosis and the physical and/or behavioural problems that need to worked on. To speak to our team and see if we are right for you please contact us.

Make a referral

To refer a child to our services this can be done online, or by calling 0161 820 8262 or emailing office@kids

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