Children who are born with Down Syndrome face many challenges throughout life, especially those of the physical nature. What many people don’t realize, is how difficult it is for them to overcome these challenges. Some characteristics of Down Syndrome include hypotonia, or low muscle tone, ligamentous laxity, (looseness of ligaments, causing increased flexibility at joints) and decreased strength. This makes it difficult for these children to develop gross and fine motor skills.
Physical therapy can be an extremely useful tool to help these children and adults strengthen their muscles and gain motor skills. Your Physical Therapist will assess where your loved one’s motor skills and create a treatment plan to move forward. We build upon their existing skills and make sure to take it at their pace. While it’s important to always be striving for the next goal, we realize that this can be discouraging at times. We’re always there to support our patients and help them realize their potential.
It’s important to encourage and help your loved one practice the exercises and stretches your Physical Therapist will give you. These will help to increase the muscle strength and ultimately teach them to have more proficiency in their motor skills. Active play is also encouraged, here are some ideas of activities that can help develop these motor skills. When you meet with one of our Physical Therapists regularly, they’ll be able to assess progress and help adjust exercises and stretches to meet specific needs.
Give us a call schedule an appointment at 801-571-0099.