Children with Down syndrome are a vibrant and integral part of American society. They have significant health issues and benefit from advances in modern medical and surgical care. Although most have mild to moderate mental retardation, they benefit tremendously from early and persistent interventions designed to promote development in the areas of speech and language, gross and fine motor function, cognition and learning, and self-help skills.

Nurses working with this population can profoundly affect the child’s health and development, as well as the quality of family life.

There are many excellent online sites that explore the experience of raising a child with Down syndrome. A few of the best include:

Welcome to Holland, by Emily Perl Kingsley, at

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The United Kingdom Down Syndrome Association (DSA)

An Open Letter from My Heart to Educators, or to anyone interacting with children with challenges (affectionately nicknamed "Violets and Daisies" by those of us who love the imagery) by Kay Drais at