Down Syndrome is known as trisomy 21, it is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.
Children with Down Syndrome have several physical characteristics that affect how they spontaneously move and learn.
Factors Influencing Development:
- Hypotonia – low muscle tone, this is the resting tension of muscle when it is relaxed and it is controlled by the brain ie. ‘floppy’ feeling which is more pronounced in their arms and abdomen
- Ligamentous laxity (increased flexibility in joints)
- Decreased strength – but can improve greatly with repetition and practice.
- Medical conditions such as heart defects, sleep apnea, respiratory infections can affect their ability to learn and grow.
How can Therapy Help?
The goal of therapy is not to accelerate the achievement of physcial milestones but to develop a body that is functional
throughout an individuals life.
There are four critical pieces to learn: to walk with their knees and feet facing forward; to have a balanced trunk; support from their back and abdominal muscles; and to develop strong arms and upper body.
A neurotypical child may well develop these without any additional support but due to the physical characteristics of Down Syndrome (as described above) they are likely to develop compensations to get them moving faster.
Therapy is essential when they are learning these movement patterns as they lay the foundations for a well balanced high functioning system that will serve them well into school and their adult years.
Key Learning for Children with Down Syndrome
Get in touch
Centre of Movement
Ground Floor, Suite 3
328 Scottsdale Drive
Robina, QLD 4226
MON-FRI 9:00am – 5:00pm