Self-competence, which involves the interrelationship between self-perception of personal worth and efficacy, is an important component of healthy development during adolescence. All teens, regardless of their physical challenges and cognitive impairments, are capable of developing and expressing some degree of self-competence. The key components of this self-competence are self-esteem, self-determination, and successful coping. Nursing interventions aimed at promoting these components will contribute to the adolescent’s self-competence.

When working with adolescents with Down syndrome, the nurse can employ a variety of approaches to help the teen and family identify and maximize personal strengths and adaptive skills. Some of the most successful approaches include the following:

Teens with Down syndrome should be encouraged to select goals that are somewhat challenging and that virtually guarantee success.