Down syndrome/home is a genetic disorder causing babies to be born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. Physical therapy has specific treatment programs to reduce the symptoms of down syndrome. That extra copy changes the common development of the brain and the body, causing intellectual and physical difficulties. The effect is ordinarily mild to moderate. Those with DS can lead happy and fruitful lives going to school, participating in the family -[p]and community activities, and holding jobs. However, most children with Down syndrome experience physical and developmental delays and may have physical conditions requiring treatment. Although the situation continues throughout a person’s life span, children and adults with DS can improve their ability to perform movement activities and everyday tasks with the help of physical therapists and other health care professionals.
Working side-by-side with individuals with DS and their families, physical therapists can help prevent some of the condition’s complications, such as developmental delay and obesity, and help boost and maintain their levels of heart and cardiovascular fitness. Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. Although DS extends during a person’s life span, children and adults can develop their strength to perform movement actions and everyday tasks with the help of physical therapists and other health care specialists.
A physical therapist will create an individualized plan which might include the following:
Improving development skills
Physical therapists can help your child learn to master motor skills such as crawling, pulling up from sitting to standing, and walking. They can also help caregivers support their child’s movement development by providing hands-on training for positioning, movement, feeding, and play and suggest changes at home to encourage movement and communication development.
Your physical therapist can teach exercises to improve and increase muscle strength. This can include games and fun tasks that adjust as the child grows, identifying new fitness activities to reduce the risk of obesity and improve and maintain heart health.
Improving balance, coordination, and postural control
Your physical therapist may use equipment such as a firm, round pillow or an exercise ball to improve your child’s ability to hold the head erect or maintain a sitting position. In addition, other skills like jumping, hopping, and dribbling a ball may be combined into a fun physical therapy management.
Improving physical fitness
Your physical therapist will help determine the specific exercises, diet, and community involvement that can promote healthy living choices for your child and prevent complications of DS, such as activity limitations and decreased participation with siblings or peers. Physical therapy treatment might be provided in the home or at another location like a community centre, school, or a physical therapy outpatient clinic. In addition, physical therapists work with other health care professionals to address the needs of individuals with DS, as treatment priorities shift throughout their life spans.
Your physical therapist will ask about your chief concerns. What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish first in physical therapy?
Motor skills acquisition
Your physical therapist will perform specific tests to determine your child’s motor development, such as sitting, crawling, kneeling, pulling up from sitting to standing, walking, and more advanced skills like running, jumping, kicking, and throwing a ball. Your therapist also may screen the child’s hand use, vision, learning strategies, and other areas of development.
The physical exam may include measuring your child’s height and weight, observing movement patterns, and making a hands-on assessment of his or her muscle strength and tone, movement, flexibility, posture, balance, and coordination. Your child’s heart health and fitness may also be assessed, as well as his or her foot posture and the potential need for orthotics.
General health questions
Questions like Has your child been sick or hospitalized? When did your child last visit a physician or health care provider? Were any health concerns shared with you during that visit? Has your child had any surgeries?
Birth and developmental history
A physical therapist might ask for some details regarding your child’s birth, age, and developmental stages, like how they perform their daily routine to check their functional mobility.
The physical therapist is an imperative partner in health care and fitness for anyone diagnosed with DS. Physical therapists help people gain strength and movement skills to function at their best throughout all the stages of life.
Specifically, physical therapists work with children to improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, and movement skills to improve independence with daily activities and quality of life. Early intervention by a physical therapist helps a child with DS develop to their maximum potential. You can consult a well trained and experienced physical therapist who specializes in treating down syndrome.