Noah Working On His Fine Motor Skills

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!

This little boy had a hard time eating!

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.)

Once he was more sturdy he could eat so much better!  In fact, once he was able to eat from a spoon we were able to graduate from speech therapy…for now.

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!

tie a string around your finger so you do not forget

Never forget that what you do for your child is 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!

developmental delays child with down syndrome at occupational therapy

Your child works hard...but so you 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.


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?

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  1. Good info. Nice soundtrack. And yes our child is brilliant! 🙂

  2. Katie Kroone says

    Child development is so interesting 🙂 In our student speech therapy clinics (Im in South Africa )we use a test called the ‘draw a man test’ to get an idea of a child’s cognitive age in comparison to his/her chronological age. Its only recommended for kids ages 3-6 years, have you heard of this test? Im interested to know what kind of things people in other parts of the world use to get an idea of a child’s cognitive development…. 🙂

    • Kate,

      Wow! How cool that you have found our blog all the way from South Africa! I have not heard of the “draw a man test,” please tell me (us) more about it. It sounds very interesting.

      Our little boy is only 7 1/2 months old so we mainly work with physical, occupational, and speech (feeding) therapies. Hopefully someone else can chime in and tell you about some of their experiences. (I’m interested as well!) 🙂

      • Katie Kroone says

        Its a pretty simple informal test…basically we just hand the kid some crayons and paper and ask them to draw us the best person that they can. Once they have done this you do the ‘calculations’ to get an idea of their cognitive age. We start with the basal age of 3 years, and for each detail that is included (eg. 2 legs, clothes, fingers…theres a LOOOONG list! ) the child’s score is credited with an additional 3 months…add it all together and it should give an idea of what the child’s cognitive age is. So the more detail and the more that is included in the picture, the more ‘developed’ the child is said to be 🙂 As I said, it is not a formalized test, but rather used to give us an indication of where the child is in terms of development…and possibly highlight reasons why speech is delayed. It is definitely one of my favorite parts of assessment, the kids have no clue that they are actually doing a test 🙂

        I’ve heard that there is also a ‘scribble test’ for children younger than 3, but me and my classmates haven’t been able to hunt the textbook down with this info. sounds like fun though!

        So any other therapists/students studying health sciences involving therapy who come across this, I would LOVE to know what other methods are out there, what you use in assessment, and if you know about the ‘Scribble test’! YAY! 🙂

  3. Let’s see….I have a 14 month old with Down syndrome (Julian, quick intro for those who don’t know!)

    I’m working pretty heavily on early language development with him right now. Just talking to him a lot, working on him trying to imitate my sounds and actions. Working to add more signs = he has “more” down pat.

    Oral motor development: working on continued finger feeding. trying to encourage pointing (he just started), exploring things and putting things “in” and taking ‘out” – he’s got the out one down…

    Physical therapy: working on standing up wihtout support (he can’t stand on his own, but we practice him doing it with very little support). he just started pulling himself up on furniture! uh oh. it’s coming…

    We have him use the Rubbermaid LItterless juice box for drinking all of the time. He started to straw drink at 11 months and now he holds his own container and drinks from the straw. We might think about cup drinking sometime soon…but not sure!

    I love Noah! (and Noah’s dad and mom of course)

  4. karen kramer says

    Don’t have our little man home yet:0 but will share when we do.

    I love that I just watched this with our 5 year old and she said, “that’s Noah right Mommy!” LOVE IT!! He is such a cutie!!

    And btw that post you did about the Rody….was at a friend’s the other day and she had one. Not sure we will afford this adoption AND all the other stuff that Ivan will need (possibly) even surgery but God is faithful. And Rody is at the top of the “gotta get” list:) thanks for sharing about it!

    • Karen,

      Thank so much! You tell your little 5 year old that he encourages me – big time!

      Also, I’m not sure I know the story about your new little man….do I? Do you have a blog? Or..mind sharing the story here if not?

      By the way….do you have a Gravatar? —–>

  5. Look out, Special Olympics! Here comes Noah!

  6. Hi ! im from saudi arabia my son is 10 months 1 week 2 days he has down syndrome like your cute son and the same kind thanks for sharing us your benefits thanks to these noble spirits u and Noah’s mother, your son will be proud of having such parents. would you please add more videos of therapies because i want to use them with my son . God bless u

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