Down Syndrome

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BOOST-DS: Can ABA work for children with Down syndrome?

We are excited to announce that our Down Syndrome Program's Research Team has received a grant from the John Merck Fund to study whether Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can positively impact learning, memory, and behavior in preschoolers with Down syndrome.

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ABA therapy breaks complex tasks into simple pieces to help children learn and develop, and has been shown to have significant, positive impacts for young children with autism. ABA may also have positive results for children with Down syndrome, however this still needs to be carefully studied, and we are excited to be the first research team to do so.  Our study, BOOST-DS (Behavioral Optimization and Outcomes Study in Down syndrome), will work with a large group of children in order to better determine the effectiveness of ABA therapy in children with Down syndrome.  The study will bring together experts from multiple departments at Boston Children's, including pediatric psychology, neurology, neurodevelopmental disabilities, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, and cognitive neuroscience.  This team approach will allow researchers to assess not just behavioral and intellectual impacts, but also whether ABA has the potential to impact brain function.  If ABA is shown to be effective in children with Down syndrome, it may increase access to ABA services for children with Down syndrome and their families.  We will post updates here and to our Facebook page once the study is underway  Please click here for more details about the study team.

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Longitudinal Down Syndrome Study

Participants: All current patients in the BCH Down Syndrome Program

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Down Syndrome Program patients at Boston Children's Hospital are invited to participate in a project to build a national registry to track the health and medical history of people with Down syndrome across their lives.  Health information will be collected from existing and future medical records, so there are no extra study visits or procedures.  This Longitudinal Down Syndrome Study (LDSS) is taking place at Boston Children's Hospital, as well as other centers specializing in Down syndrome clinical care and research.For more information, please contact Lauren Voelz.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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