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Dennis McGuire and Brian Chicoine

Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome

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Catalog No. 23764

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The founding directors of the Adult Down syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, the first facility of its type in North America, share nearly 30 years of combined experience treating more than 3,000 adolescents and adults with Down syndrome aged 12 to 83.

Mental Wellness is a resource for parents, mental health professionals, teachers and caregivers who want to understand better how to promote mental health and resolve psychosocial problems in people with Down syndrome.

This authoritative guide clarifies what are the common behavioral characteristics of Down syndrome; how some can be mistaken for mental illness; and what are the bona fide mental health problems that occur more commonly in people with Down syndrome. As McGuire and Chicoine describe these traits and mental health issues, they also explain, through detailed observations and case studies based on their patients, how parents, caregivers and adults with Down syndrome can work together to foster mental wellness. The authors discuss the importance of regular assessment and how behavior and mental well-being can be affected by environmental conditions, social opportunities, and physical health.

The first section of the book offers a wealth of knowledge and insight about typical behavioral traits of Down syndrome and how to work with them to encourage mental wellness on a day-to-day basis. Topics include:

... Community and Family Support

... Self-Talk and Imaginary Friends

... Communication-Related Problems

... Memory Strengths and Deficits

... Emotional Development

... Tendencies Toward Sameness and Repetition

... Self-Esteem and Self-Image

... Lifespan Issues

The second section on mental illness includes chapters on such conditions as:

... Depression and Other Mood Disorders

... Anxiety

... Obsessive-compulsive disorder

... Tic Disorders and Repetitive Movements

... AD/HD and Other Impulse Control Issues

... Autism

... Alzheimer disease

In each case, the authors describe the problem signs, the diagnostic process and a range of treatment options, such as counseling, behavioral therapy and medications.

Dennis McGuire, PhD, is Director of Psychosocial Services for the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital outside of Chicago. Brian Chicoine, MD, is the medical director of the Center. Together they founded The Center in 1992 and have served nearly 3,000 adults with Down syndrome since its inception.

460 pages. 2006

Together, we're always better. More fun, too.

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