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Dolores Austin (right) and her daughter, Sarah, are shown. (KTAR Photo/Sandra Haros)

PHOENIX -- The first Down syndrome-specific clinic in Arizona opened Thursday in Phoenix.

"The goal of the clinic is to provide multi-disciplinary evaluations and interventions for children with Down Syndrome from birth to 18 years within one center, so families spend less time pursuing services through multiple agencies and professionals. We want to become a one-stop-shop for families in Arizona," said Dr. Robin Blitz, director of developmental pediatrics for the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"This is huge," said Dolores Austin, whose 13-year-old daughter, Sarah, was born with Down syndrome. The family moved to the state from the Kansas City area.

"I found out there wasn't a clinic here or in surrounding states," said Austin. "We would literally have to drive back to Missouri for her clinic visits."

According to PCH, the clinic will provide services in the clinic three times a month. Specialties include developmental pediatrics, genetics, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and a clinical coordinator.

Last year, 160 babies were born in Arizona with Down syndrome. More than 900 children with the Down syndrome have been treated at PCH in the last five years.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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