We work on sitting every time we go to our physical therapy sessions. Noah has hit new sitting records, has found great assistants such as sand and toys, and has knocked his head more than once. Do you ever ask youself if all this practice really helps? Is it worth it?
Practice Makes Perfect
I was cruising around my favorite resource on the internet Down Syndrome Education Online and found some interesting down syndrome facts. For one, your child WILL learn how to sit. Woo Hoo for us. They will learn how to walk, and do all of the fine motor tasks that you EXPECT them to do.
However, it is not at the same pace as a typical child. Children born with Down syndrome will learn their milestones in the same sequence as a typical child but at a slower rate. They will also require more practice to get it perfect. Hence us practicing sitting every single day. There are multiple studies showing that with a little more practice a child with Down syndrome will learn and be able to perform that specific task.
This will be true with everything, they just need a little extra practice.Celebrate Don’t Compete
Another fact is that there is a greater variability for when chidren will achieve their milestones. For example a typical child may sit up from 5-9 months, but a child born with down syndrome has a span of 8-16 months.
The main reasons for this variability is that: One, we are a smaller population and, two, there is a large chunk of that population that is getting surgery or having medical concerns in the first few months which delays development. Rick and I frequently say that each child is an individual and will develop at their own pace.
They will reach their milestones when they are ready. Some will do it faster or slower than others, but be sure to celebrate every achievement your child makes (no matter how seemingly small) and try your best not to compete!
I know it’s a hard temptation to resist, but you can do it.
Early Intervention And Down Syndrome – Is It Worth It?
An interesting fact on the site I mentioned above stated that their is no evidence that early intervention works.
I actually kind of laughed at this. They have done studies which show that those in early intervention and those who are not involved will achieve milestones at the same rate. They think the biggest benefit from early intervention is, one you practice a lot, and two you encourage. Both of those aspects have been proven to help with development. Interesting huh?
My favorite quote from the article that I read was:
“Down syndrome did affect the rate at which new skills were mastered, it did not affect the upper limit of the skills achieved.”
You better watch out Noah, your mom is on to how much you are capable of achieving, and we are just getting started! 🙂
Are you sick of practicing anything yet? Sitting is getting kind of old in my book 🙂