What is Down syndrome?
Down’s syndrome (also known as Down syndrome) is a genetic condition called a trisomy, where a person inherits an extra copy of one chromosome. People with the syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21 rather than the usual two.
Approximately 1 in every 1000 babies born will have Down’s syndrome. In UK approximately 750 babies are born each year with this condition.
The cause of Down‘s syndrome is unknown.
What characteristics do children with Down’s syndrome demonstrate?
This additional genetic material changes the body and results in characteristic both physical and intellectual. This includes decreased muscle tone, flattened nose, small ears and mouth, wide short hands with short fingers. Physical development is often slower than normal. Most individuals with Down syndrome never reach their average adult height.
Down syndrome children may also have delayed mental and social development. This may results in impulsive behaviour, poor judgment, short attention span and slow learning.
Down’s Syndrome Phyisotherapy
About us and Down’s syndrome
We are specialist neuro physiotherapists with vast experience in treating Down’s syndrome. At the Birkdale Neuro Rehabilitation Centre we use a range of different methods and ensure our physiotherapy is integrated into varying forms of play.
Primarily an in depth assessment is carried out which enables us to establish and plan treatment tailored for this specific child. For further details of the assessment please click here.
Down’s syndrome Physiotherapy
Children have shown the ability to re learn postural alignment and movement patterns through the integration of physiotherapy in play. In our physiotherapy sessions we use sensory stimulation to engage muscles, including those of the facial muscles in order to achieve lip closure as well as better pronunciations. We also test and work with the hand function and dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination and balance. Finally we work closely with the family and school to facilitate progress both in and out of the clinic.
In our physiotherapy sessions we use Tobii technology http://www.tobiidynavox.com/ for cognitive testing as well as eye tracking. Most children with Down syndrome have difficulty in their eye movements. This is due to low tone also their head posture is often in extension and as a result their eye movements are affected both vertically and horizontally. This in turns affects concentration and reading and writing. A full programme of physiotherapy is planed together with the parents enabling them to continue working with their children outside the clinic setting. Our aim is for the child to achieve their potential. We provide every assistants to the parents in order for them to continue working with their children away from the clinical setting.