Some people with Down syndrome live with more complex needs for support, complicated by other conditions that occur in other people too. Sometimes families are aware that their son or daughter is different from most people with Down syndrome for some time before they they are able to confirm just what makes up their particular range of conditions.
"Diagnostic overshadowing" refers to the difficulties that can be encountered in identifying features that are caused by the presence of Down syndrome, and those that are caused by an additional condition.While it can be daunting to confront yet another label or diagnosis, the process of identifying the contributing factors does not change the person - its purpose should be to throw light on useful interventions and supports, and perhaps to qualify the person to receive the support services they need.
"Dual diagnosis" can refer to any two conditions co-existing.
These two new web pages on the Down Syndrome NSW website provide information to support families dealing with complex needs that might be manifest when a person with Down syndrome is also living with either a mental health concern or an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Down syndrome and mental health
This page provides links to resources on mental health and Down syndrome, and to appropriately experienced and qualified mental services available in NSW.
Dual Diagnosis: Down syndrome and Autism
While it is clear from clinical experience and research that a small proportion (around 7 %) of people with Down syndrome also meet the international criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder, the diagnosis is complex and requires an experienced and expert clinician. It is recommended that a consultation be sought with an appropriate specialist such as a developmental paediatrician, a specialist physician in developmental disability medicine or a psychiatrist.
The links on this new page on our website provide information, but are not a substitute for appropriate professional consultation.
Your suggestions for additional links for either page are welcome - contact email@example.com