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Mar 01, 2018
Trisomy 21 Update
For many people, maintaining balance while walking or standing is automatic. Their bodies and brains easily interpret input from their muscles and joints, their eyes, and the vestibular system (inner ear) to help them remain on their feet.
For children with balance issues — such as those with Down syndrome — this system does not always run fluidly and can put them at greater risk of falls.
Reasons for balance difficulty vary, but may include:
Children with Down syndrome often have a number of these factors that contribute to their balance issues. A skilled evaluation by a physical therapist may be valuable in determining whether the child could benefit from a course of physical therapy to improve their balance.
There are a number of ways that balance can be improved during everyday play and activity engagement for all ages. The information below is categorized by age group to improve balance from a number of angles. Please keep in mind that every child is different and may require modifications to best address their needs.
If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to a physical therapist near you or talk to a physical therapist in the Trisomy 21 clinic.
Contributed by: Megan Beam, PT, DPT, PCS
Early introduction of higher level “instrumental skills” allows for time and practice to help individuals with Down syndrome achieve independence in daily life.
The Trisomy 21 Program offers fun and practical activities that can build core strength and fine motor skills to improve your child’s handwriting.
A “sensory diet” can help children with sensory processing disorders cope with all of the input they receive in a day.