Occupational therapy is needed to develop fine motor skills. The first step of this is actually sight and tracking. It also involves hand movements such as clapping and grabbing objects that hang over head as well as sensory integration.
Eventually it will include activities of daily living like putting on clothes, brushing teeth, and holding a pencil.
Developmental Delays For Children Born With Down Syndrome
I am currently studying for my pediatric boards and learning quite a bit about development. If there is a delay in visual development it is followed by a delay in gross and fine motor development.
We saw this with Noah as it took him awhile to track us. Once he was doing that his motivation increased significantly and his motor skills improved.
Many Different Therapies, But One Great Goal!
Children born with Down syndrome are often involved in many different types of therapies, that involve many different techniques. The important thing to keep in mind is that they are all meant to achieve one great goal – to help your child become everything that God created him or her to be!
All of the therapies are connected. Fine motor helps with gross motor which can help with speech. We had such difficulty feeding Noah because his gross motor skills and stability in his core needed help.
He was wobbly and constantly shifting around to the point where even our speech therapist thought that Noah was one of her more difficult patients to feed. We even had a barium swallow study preformed to determine if Noah was aspirating while he was eating. (Thankfully he wasn’t.)
We are seeing more and more each day how we have to look at his development from the stand point of the whole child rather than focus on one thing.
Never Forget That What You Do Is Very Important!
I also recently learned that for those with a language delay due to oral motor dysfunction (ex: apraxia) the most accurate indicator of future cognitive function is problem solving ability. Without the dysfunction, language is the best indicator.
I have a feeling that a lot of families think their kids with Down syndrome excel in problem solving ability, so hopefully this will encourage you a bit.
Language is such an obvious delay but typically the delay is because their mouths are trying to figure out how to say what is going on in their brain. Just because your child is not able to speak clearly at the moment does not mean they are not BRILLIANT! 🙂 Unfortunately the general population may not realize this.
I hope that you are able to take encouragement that WE DO!
We also know all the hard work your child puts in, and if a kid is working hard that means that there is a parent working just as hard. I feel that doctors don’t say good job enough to their parents.
So GOOD JOB!!
All your hard work is paying off.
And remember….stay encouraged! Your child appreciates your hard work and effort more than you will ever know!
What’s an area of development that you are currently working on? How’s it going?