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What is Down’s syndrome?

Down’s syndrome a genetic disorder that affects a childs physical and cognitive development.

What causes Down’s syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome, so a child has 47 chromosomes instead of 46. This extra genetic material leads to the physical features and developmental delays associated with Down’s syndrome.

Toning and strengthening exercises assisted by specilaist paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Toning and strengthening exercises assisted by specilaist paediatric physiotherapist

What are the symptoms of Down’s syndrome?

Children with Down’s syndrome have delayed physical development and usually take longer to reach their developmental milestones such as:
  • learning to sit
  • learning to crawl
  • learning to walk
Other symptoms of Down’s syndrome may include characteristic facial features, heart abnormalities, sight and hearing problems, thyroid problems, poor immunity, digestive problems and dementia. Most children with Down’s syndrome have learning difficulties and can be slower in their development although the severity varies.

Diagnosis of Down’s syndrome

Screening during pregnancy can determine the likelihood of your baby developing the syndrome. Diagnosis after birth will be confirmed by a doctor who will assess your baby and look for the typical physical features that are associated with the condition, such as eyes that slant upwards or a flat back of the head.

Upper limb mobility and stretch exercises assisted by a paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Upper limb mobility and stretch exercises assisted by a paediatric physiotherapist

Physiotherapy for Down’s syndrome

Physiotherapy treatment at will help your child reach their developmental milestones, improve muscle strength and flexibility and maximise function and quality of life.

Physiotherapy treatment at will be suited to your childs current needs but may include:
  • Practicing functional activities to promote achievement of gross motor skills such as sitting, crawling, standing
  • Exercises to improve muscle strength, posture and balance
  • Manual therapy and massage to relieve tight muscles and joints
  • Gait re-education
  • Advice about how to continue therapy at home or at school and reduce the risk of secondary joint problems in the long term
Your paediatric physiotherapists at will firstly assess you childs ability with functional activities in order to tailor treatment to their stage of development.

Physiotherapy treatment at will be enjoyable and effective for your child in order to maximise their potential and improve their quality of life. can provide treatment of Down’s syndrome across Greater Manchester and Cheshire. We will provide assessment and treatment at our clinic, a child’s school or at your home for your convenience.

If you would like more information on physiotherapy for Down’s syndrome or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800, or book online today!

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