Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Research and Disability Topics

Quickly find related research information, services, training, news, video, podcasts, upcoming events, links and other resources that the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center website has related to these topics.

Down syndrome

Down syndrome is the most prevalent chromosomal cause of intellectual disability and the most common congenital disorder associated with intellectual disability. It occurs in an average of 1 out of every 700-1000 births. It affects both males and females of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Individuals with Down syndrome have characteristic facial features. The syndrome results in higher than normal risk for associated medical conditions, as well as distinctive cognitive, language, and behavioral profiles. In general, persons with Down syndrome have higher levels of adaptive behavior than of intelligence. The syndrome results in an life span that is shorter than average, but it has quintupled over the last century due to advancements in treating associated medical conditions, especially heart defects.


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Services and Programs

  • Family Outreach Center
    Disability-specific programs associated with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and other organizations at Vanderbilt provide a broad range of treatment, research, technical assistance, education, and outreach services.
  • Arts Program at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
    Programs include exhibits by artists with disabilities and activities for people with disabilities to practice and express themselves through art.
  • Down Syndrome Clinic
    The clinic works with families referred by their primary care provider and provides special care in a wide variety of fields, and assists patients in finding other services.
  • Tennessee Disability Pathfinder - An internet community and statewide helpline
    Phone, web, and print resources in English and Spanish to connect the Tennessee disability community with service providers. Referral services, free of cost, are provided to persons with disabilities, family members, service providers, and advocates.
  • Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability
    Families, friends and service providers share their stories about people living with disability in Tennessee.

Printable Resources and Materials

  • Best Buddies (Vanderbilt Chapter)
    Vanderbilt University's Best Buddies chapter.
  • Down syndrome - Health Library
    Contains links and other resources concerning Down Syndrome.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee
    Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee is a community-based organization of more than 500 families. Our mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with Down syndrome by providing support, information and education to those individuals, their families, professionals, and the communities that make up the Middle Tennessee region.
  • Kevin C, Ess Research Laboratory
    The Kevin C, Ess Research Laboratory studies the neurobiology of progenitor cells, specifically the mechanisms by which neural progenitors make cell fate decisions during development.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
    The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization.
  • National Down Syndrome Congress
    The mission of the NDSC is to provide information, advocacy and support concerning all aspects of life for individuals with Down syndrome.
  • National Down Syndrome Society
    The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through national leadership in education, research and advocacy.
  • National Institutes of Health Research Plan on Down Syndrome
    Plan developed by the NIH Down Syndrome Working Group, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Team William
    Charity organization raises money to create scholarships for children with Down syndrome at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Reading Clinic.

StudyFinder - Participate in a study related to Down syndrome

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researchers need subjects to complete the studies listed below.

Video, Podcast and Images

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