Down Syndrome occurs when there is a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and produces common traits for children with Down Syndrome. A few common physical traits that occur are low muscle tone, low strength, difficulty attaining normal development milestones, walking difficulties and looseness of ligaments.
Children with Down Syndrome most often have cognitive and neurological delays with difficulty processing normal activities. However, this is usually mild to moderate, affecting normal tasks and interactions.
How Pediatric Therapy Helps
Pediatric Therapy is very important in helping the child with Down Syndrome reach their full potential. Pediatric physical therapy works to improve muscle motor patterns, so activities can be completed with more skill and accuracy. In addition, any problems with walking, sitting, standing, balance and more are treated. By empowering the child with more physical skills, they become better able to master normal daily activities and attain more independence.
Pediatric occupational therapy and pediatric speech therapy help the child with Down Syndrome to improve self care skills, fine and gross motor skills, play and leisure activities, speech or feeding difficulties. In addition, pediatric speech therapy addresses issues with speech and language development. The low tone associated with Down Syndrome often affects the muscles of the tongue and throat, affecting speech and feeding. Our therapists work closely with your child to identify limitations and make appropriate treatments to improve those.