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Down's Syndrome

Question for Department of Health

UIN HL7159, tabled on 17 March 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support individuals with Down’s Syndrome and their families.

Answered on

23 March 2016

There is support available for families with children born with Down’s syndrome. For many people this will involve an early intervention programme, to help support the child’s development and provide support to the family. This support will be delivered by health visitors and midwives.

An early intervention programme can include speech and language therapy, physiotherapy to help with any muscle weakness, and individual home teaching programmes.

Where a child has a special educational need, the local authority should also make support available to ensure the child has access to the same educational opportunities as a child without such a need. The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a statutory framework for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), to work together to secure services for children and young people up to the age of 25 who have special educational needs or disability.

General practitioners can provide an annual learning disability health check. Children and young people aged 14 and over who are on a general practice’s learning disability register are eligible to have a health check and a health action plan linked to this check. The health check and health action plan can inform a local authority’s annual review of young people with special educational needs from age 14 onwards to help them to prepare for adult life.

The Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to undertake an assessment when an adult appears to have care and support needs. The assessment must involve the adult, their carer and anyone else they want to involve and consider the outcomes the person wants to achieve, their needs and how these impact on their wellbeing.