Meeting Family Needs: The Down Syndrome Clinic

The Down Syndrome Clinic, sponsored by the Greenwood Genetic Center, is the only comprehensive clinic for individuals with Down syndrome in the state of South Carolina. The clinic began in 1996 with the purpose of providing a comprehensive approach to patient care and to monitor both short and long-term healthcare issues faced by Down syndrome individuals.

The clinical team consists of nine specialists, all serving on a volunteer basis. The specialists include a medical geneticist, psychologist, registered dietician, occupational therapist, physical therapist, social worker, speech pathologist, audiologist, and a parent of a child with Down syndrome.

The clinic serves patients of all ages. After the initial genetic consultation to discuss test results and to provide genetic counseling, it is recommended that the child be seen in the clinic between the ages of 6-12 months. Annual visits are suggested for ages 1-3 years, followed by visits every 2-3 years after the age of four. The clinic is not designed to replace the family’s primary care physician. Rather, the clinic’s goal is to provide management, support, and suggestions for management improvement. The clinic follows the healthcare guidelines for individuals with Down syndrome as detailed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How are appointments made? The clinic accepts self-referrals, referrals from physicians and Down syndrome support groups, and inquiries from school districts. It is estimated that the clinic serves 150-200 families annually, primarily from South Carolina and Georgia. The Down Syndrome Clinic is held on the third Wednesday of each month from 8:00-12:00 at the Greenwood Genetic Center. Scheduling accommodations are made to meet individual family needs.