PT & OT for Children with Down Syndrome

Since Hazel started crawling our main focus for physio has been to encourage her to crawl as much as possible. We have not been working at all on bringing her to the next step which is walking (although she has her own ideas about standing independently and cruising). I am a huge fan of keeping her crawling for so many reasons.  

1. She's easier to chase after while crawling

2. She is getting so much more coordinated by strengthening all her muscles by using them often and equally.

3. She is acquiring a keen body awareness for all her muscles. Even down to the pincer grasp. It is coming along nicely since she is constantly aware of her fingers because of the constant weight baring through her arms while crawling.

4. She is easier to chase while crawling (Oops...already said that)


Small Disclaimer: I just want to remind everyone again that these activities were given to Hazel, for Hazel, by her OT and PT. If you would like to try any of these at home with your babes, please ask someone in your local community for support and advice on what will work best for your children.

Another Small Disclaimer: My intention for these posts is to provide ideas and information about OT, PT and Speech for anybody who feels compelled to learn or is interested in what it looks like in our home. It is NEVER to compare Hazel to other children. My favourite thing about kids is that they are all different and do things when they are ready and in their own time.

Also, we have stopped doing some of these activities and still continue to do others. Since she has started standing and cruising on her own we have added some new activities that I will include in the next PT/OT post.


The activities this time around speak for themselves...



1.  High Kneel on Couch



2. Pull to Stand & Cruising

We use anything that is the right height for her to pull up on. Actually she is good at scanning a room and trying her darnedest to pull herself on everything in it. (Who says "darnedest"?)




3. Bench Sitting




We have the toys within reach on either side of her so she has to turn and reach/lean down to grab the toy and bring it up to center.



4. Crawling...crawling...crawling



1. Self feeding with a spoon and fork

She does great with this as long as I load it for her. She is pretty proud of her self, actually!!!


2. IN & OUT

We practice with anything and everything. PRAISE!!!! Girlfriend can put things IN & OUT!!!

Here is a pic of the toy that really drove the concept home for her. She is obsessed!!!



3. Lots of listening to music while we play

Listening to music facilitates movement and also allows me an opportunity to add actions and signs that she is starting to learn slowly.


4. Working on early feeding signs

We are working on "more", "eat", and "drink." She has mastered "all done" and knows when to use it. The other are more difficult because she won't let me use her hands to show her how to do it. She just gets mad and pulls them away. (Same with loading her own spoon, won't let me guide her hand)


5. Pincer grasp

Like I said crawling has helped her a great deal with this. I just try to give her small pieces of food and try to encourage her to use her fingers to grab it. We are laid back about it but it is coming along. We are going to start using 1 inch cubes and smaller toys for her to try and manipulate them with her fingers.


Have a good week everyone!!!