5 Physiotherapy Tools - Down Syndrome

Here is the latest PT happenings in our house (from 7-9 months).

Sorry about the randomness of some of these photos. We do so many different things that is is hard to keep them all in order. Also, I am sure I have missed something because she grows and changes so fast, which means all her PT changes as well.


All of the activities shown here have been approved by our PT and OT. Also, these activities benefit Hazel and you should consult your PT and OT if you are thinking about trying any of these with your children.

Another important thing to mention, is that when Hazel is not happy doing any of these activities, we stop. We try something new and if she's not into it, we drop it for a while. I never pressure her or force her to do any PT or OT.



Our Tools:

1. The Foam

When using the foam in this position, it encourages Hazel to weight bare on both her knees as well as her arms. These pics are from a while ago.

If I lean her up against the side like this, she leans and rests her arm on the foam. It gives her practice weight baring on one side at a time. It, also, helps her to support herself better because her arms are a little shorter than most.

We cut the foam so that Hazel's legs will stay together. This ensures that the weight is on her knees and that she is not flat on her hips.

Sometimes I put the foam out in front of her so that she can reach to put weight on her hands as well as her knees. Trying to get her into the 4-point crawling position.

We are doing some PT outside (this pic is old). I think it's nice to change the scenery so that Hazel always has something new to look at.

In this position, Hazel is learning to put weight on her hands and elbows.

I often will hold a toy up for her to reach for so that she learns to shift her weight from one side to the other.

Sometimes she doesn't like to do PT, so we stop.

We have her sit on the foam and pull herself up. She gets a great bend in her knees and it forces her to use all the muscles in her legs to stand.

As you can see, she is pretty proud of herself (I know the pic is blurry but look at that face).


2. The Mirror

One of my favourite PT toys to use is this mirror. Hazel will sit up for the longest time talking to herself, and trying to grab at her face and hands. It is great for encouraging her to remain in the sitting position, rather than grab a toy and then fall over and just lay down and play.

Plus, it has the added feature of being the most entertaining thing for me to watch. She yells, dances, makes silly faces. It's great!!!

Oh yes...and tries to give herself a kiss.



3. The Medicine Ball

The medicine ball is the BEST!!!

Hazel loves it and it is so effective for core strengthening. It was a little nerve racking at first but we took it slow and now I really love it. We use it everyday. I bounce her really slowly and move the ball from side to side and front to back. Her natural reaction is to stay up so she is constantly flexing her abs trying to balance. She thinks it is pretty funny.


4. The Play Mat

These pics are pretty old but I still put her on her play mat sitting so that she can reach up and play with her toys.

Hazel has been really working on core control. Her posture is getting very straight. She practices sitting often and enjoys the freedom she has with her hands.


5. The Exersaucer

She spends time in here everyday and is really getting the hang of standing and sitting. She thinks she's hilarious when she stands (again...blurry but the faces kill me).