Down Syndrome and ADD/ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by consistent demonstration of the following traits: decreased attention span, impulsive behavior and excessive fidgeting, or other non-directed motor activity.  An individual with Down syndrome may exhibit these traits more often than other children their age.

It’s important to understand that some of these behaviors are consistent with the overall diagnosis of Down syndrome. However, if the behaviors disrupt their learning, it’s important to address those concerns with your service provider, medical and/or school teams. It may be beneficial to consult with a developmental and behavioral pediatrician or clinical psychiatrist. Be sure to discuss ruling out other medical concerns such as hearing/vision issues, sleeping issues, gastrointestinal issues, and thyroid issues. When preparing to meet with your healthcare team, review the following checklists to support your concerns.  Your data should note frequency, consistency across environments (home to school to camp to work), and how long you’ve had these concerns.

Checklist for Inattention

Checklist for Hyperactivity

DS/ADD or ADHD Support

Connecting with Other Local Families

Please contact one of our program coordinators if you need additional support.  We’re here to help connect you to resources that may assist you.

Behavior Tips to Help with a DS/ADD/ADHD Diagnosis

In addition to general behavior tips, you may want to pursue a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) with your loved one.  An FBA is a process that identifies a specific or target behavior that interferes with a student’s education or workplace responsibilities. The assessment attempts to designate the particular behavior, identify the factors that support the behavior, and determine the purpose of the behavior. From there, a behavioral plan can be created and implemented. This is beneficial in identifying the baseline data and for developing beneficial interventions.  

Behavioral Management: 

Seek help from a developmental pediatrician, psychologist, or other service professional to help create a behavior support plan for your loved one with DS/ADD or ADHD.