Noah physical therapist has been using treadmill training to help him learn to walk for 3 and a half months now. As you can see in today’s video he’s come a long way since he took his first “steps” on the treadmill in a few months ago. However, he still has a lot of work to do before he’ll actually walk on his own; specifically his core muscles, and balance. But he’ll get there.
By the way you can also see in the video how his personality is developing. For instance there are times when he just sort of let’s his feet go limp and decides that he doesn’t want to walk. So much for all kids with Down syndrome being angels.
It’s a ton of fun seeing him figure out what his feet are for and watching him put one foot in front of the other. It seems like it’ll be forever before Noah takes his first steps (off the treadmill), and I can’t wait!
But I also know that our kids grow up fast, so as much as I want him to walk, I also want to enjoy every second of his development, because once a child starts to walk on their own there’s no going back! (Can I get an “amen” parents?) I also want to be sure to never let parenting be a contest. As my wife and I often remind each other, we should focus on celebrating, not comparing.
Why is your child on a treadmill anyway?
For those of you wondering why our 11 month old is on a treadmill let me explain. One of the characteristics of Down syndrome is hypotonia which is basically low muscle tone. This means that children with Down syndrome (like our son) generally develop a little slower than a typical child, and early intervention developmental therapy is often used to help them in their progress. So one of the tools in Noah’s developmental toolbox is pediatric treadmill therapy since it has been proven to help children born with Down syndrome learn to walk. So that’s the long and short of it.
Want to learn more about treadmill therapy?
For those of you interested in learning more about treadmill training for you child be sure to check how treadmill training can help your child with Down syndrome learn to walk. In addition Dr. Dale Ulrich (who is doing cutting edge research on motor behavior and development for infant with Down syndrome) sent us over the protocol for treadmill training for babies with Down syndrome which you can download for free! Feel free to print this out and share it with your child’s physical therapist if you’d like.
What do you think about treadmill therapy? Has your child ever been on a treadmill? What other sorts of therapy has your child used? Tell us about it in the comments.