It is advisable to get a child with Down syndrome in an early-intervention services as soon as possible. Physical, occupational, and speech therapists and early-childhood educators can work with the child to encourage and accelerate development.
Our occupational therapists are trained in child development, neurology, medical conditions, psychosocial development, and therapeutic techniques. We will focus on the child’s ability to master skills for independence. This can include:
We will assist with oral-motor feeding problems (this can also be addressed by Speech Pathologists). Due to hypotonia and weakness of the muscles of the cheeks, tongue and lips, feeding is difficult for some infants with Down syndrome. We will suggest positioning and feeding techniques, and can be involved in doing feeding studies, if necessary.
Our team of therapists will also help facilitate motor milestones, particularly for fine motor skills. Occupational therapists will work with you to help the young child develop gross motor milestones (eg: sitting, crawling, standing, and walking). We will also promote arm and hand movements that lay the foundation for later developing fine motor skills. The low muscle tone and loose ligaments at the joints associated with Down syndrome are real challenges to early motor development and occupational therapy can help the child meet those challenges.