Safely Build Strength for your baby with Down Syndrome
The most important things to note in children with Down Syndrome are muscle tone and their need for strength of postural control muscles.
Down Syndrome is typically linked to low muscle tone, which makes them seem floppy and extremely flexible. Low muscle tone causes:
- Decreased strength in postural control muscles
- Prevents adequate stabilization of head and trunk
- Decrease development and movement of arms and legs.
A child with Down Syndrome may sit or stand still well because the action requires minimal trunk stability. However, crawling, rolling over, pulling up to stand and walking may be difficult. These activities require stabilization and balance in their trunk before arms and legs can move in a coordinated fashion.
Weakness in Control Muscles
Weakness in the postural control muscles can also cause difficulty with higher level motor skills such as:
- Standing on one foot
- Walking a straight line.
(See our questions page for more information on postural control muscles).
In order to prevent undesirable movement patterns from developing, it is important for children with Down Syndrome to begin an exercise program during the first year of life to strengthen postural control muscles.
Baby Builders helped Hadley walk
“Hadley was born with Down syndrome, and therefore struggled with developmental issues. We weren’t sure how hard it would be to teach her to walk or whether she’d even be able to, but the portion of the Baby Builders Video which showed the hand support around the hips resulted in her being able to learn to walk just like normal. We are very thankful for the Baby Builder Video.”
Baby Builders provides encouragement and direction for Mom
“My sixth child was born with Down syndrome. As a new mother of a special needs child, I was needing encouragement that my little guy’s life was going to be O.K. When I saw a child with Downs in your video and not just healthy children, it gave me such encouragement. It said to me ‘yes! there is a place in this world for my son!’
“I live in a smaller community without all the medical opportunities a big city would provide; I am able to get state physical therapy assistance, but the video gave me even more direction. I get so much encouragement from your video. It allows me to progress at my timetable and not to feel helpless in my child’s development. As I reflect on my children born healthy, your video would have been such a great tool to help them get a jump start in the first three years of life. It pays off later. Your goal is so perfect . . . to help children be healthy.”