Down syndrome and sensory impairments in children

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal genetic condition associated with learning disabilities. It is caused by the existence of an additional chromosome which changes the standard pattern of development of the body and brain.

It is estimated that around 1 in every 1,000 children born in the UK is affected by Down syndrome.

Every child with Down syndrome is affected by the condition in a different way. Delayed speech development and delay in motor development (sitting, crawling, walking etc) can occur. Many children with Down syndrome will eventually learn to do all of these things, but may just take longer. 

View more information, guidance and sign-posting for parents and carers provided by the Down Syndrome Association.

Some children have hearing or vision impairments, or both, as a result of their Down syndrome.

Sense's Children Specialist Services

Sense's Children's Specialist Services are a team of specialist advisory teachers, children’s therapists, and Children and Family Support Workers.

The team provides advice and information to multi-sensory-impaired children and young people, to their families or carers, and to the professionals who work with them. They also provide support in the home, at school or at their centres of excellence.

Related links in this section

Hearing impairment and Down syndrome

Visual impairment and Down syndrome

Multi-sensory impairment and Down syndrome


The Information Standard 'Certified member' logoThis page is not a substitute for a consultation with a health professional and should not to be used as a means of diagnosing a condition.

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Reviewed: May 2015
Review due: May 2017

First published: Wednesday 30 May 2012
Updated: Thursday 2 July 2015