Centers of Excellence

Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic

The Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary clinic focused on the coordinated care and management of children with Down syndrome.  The clinic opened in 2013 and will supplement the routine medical care provided by the child’s primary care physician. Our goal is to support the family, ensure comprehensive care of the child, and support the Primary Pediatrician.

Developmental Pediatrics is joined by Genetics, Physical therapy, Occupational therapy and Speech therapy to provide a holistic and comprehensive evaluation of each patient. A virtual team of specialists is also available including, but not limited to, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry and Pulmonology.  Our Program Coordinator is dedicated to helping families coordinate their subspecialty medical needs, therapies, school services and community resources.

Robin Blitz, MD a developmental-behavioral pediatrician leads the Down Syndrome Clinic with Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome, the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition, most often occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21), but may also occur due to translocation or mosaicism.  One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. In Arizona, 161 babies a year are born with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions, such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Down syndrome is usually identified at birth, or shortly after. Initially, the diagnosis is based on physical characteristics that are commonly seen in babies with Down syndrome. However, the diagnosis must be confirmed by a chromosome study, karyotype.  Children with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate. Children with Down syndrome are more like other children than they are different; they learn and grow. They simply achieve their goals at a different pace.

Treatment / Services

Each child seen in the Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic is seen by a Developmental Pediatrician / Nurse Practitioner. If patients have not yet seen the Geneticist, they are scheduled with Theresa Grebe, MD as well.  Most patients are also evaluated by rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation services may include Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy varying upon insurance approval.  The Program Coordinator works with each family to provide individualized services to meet the needs of their child.

Program Leadership

Robin K. Blitz, MD, FAAP, Director- Developmental Pediatrics

Theresa Grebe, MD- Genetics

Amber Wright, CPNP-Developmental Pediatrics

Katie Prenovost, PT, DPT – physical therapy

Jessica Duquette, MOTR/L – occupational therapy

Teresa Domrzalski, CCC-SLP, speech therapy

Kiran Aurora, M.Ed.- Program Coordinator

Contact/Referral Information

Program Coordinator – Kiran Aurora, MEd

602-933-0635

Kaurora1@phoenixchildrens.com

Local Resources 

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Resources

National Down Syndrome Society

National Association for Down Syndrome

Raising Special Kids

 

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