Sunday, October 24, 2010

Down Syndrome Awareness Month - Post 7

My son Jack has Down syndrome and because of this diagnosis, from birth to three years old he qualifies for State provided therapy services.  Children with Down syndrome have developmental delays and with therapy, the goal is to enhance the child's development and provide support and assistance to the child and family.  Jack will be two years old (Already? Wow!) next weekend and he receives six therapy services a week.  He receives Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Developmental Therapy, Aqua Therapy and attends a Developmental playgroup.  Each therapy is an hour and occurs at home, except for Aqua which we drive to and it's a 45 minute class and the playgroup is an hour and a half and we drive there as well.

This is what we are currently working on:

Physical Therapy:  Jack is working building his core muscle strength.  The sessions focus on walking, standing, balancing, squatting to stand, bear crawl to stand, walking with an object in his hands and crawling obstacles.  Jack complains the most during Physical therapy.  Jack is walking more and more, maybe about 70/30 walking to crawling now.  He also wears SMO orthotics whenever he wears his shoes.

Occupational Therapy:  Jack is working on fine motor skills and shoulder and hand strength.  During the sessions, he works with pulling, pushing and smashing Play dough, walking wheel-barrel to pick up and place objects, building blocks, laying on his tummy and uses pointer finger to push buttons and working on pincher grasp, placing small balls into a cup and drawing vertical lines.

Speech Therapy: Jack is working on speech and communication.  The sessions focus on naming objects with sign language and words, mimicking sounds, receptive language, labeling body parts and putting sounds to actions.  While Jack's only speaking word is "Dad" so far, the Therapist is very happy with his broad sign language vocabulary and knowledge of receptive language.  Some of the session is also spent exercising Jack's mouth, tongue and bite with a chewy tube.

Developmental Therapy:  Jack is working on play skills.  During the sessions, they work on appropriate toy usage, puzzles, shape sorters, threading large beads on a string, reading books and stacking blocks.  Developmental Therapy is all encompassing as includes most of the other therapies.  The goal is to work on social skills.  Sometimes that aspect of play has to be taught, but Jack seems to pick things up very quickly.

Aqua Therapy: This is Jack's favorite therapy.  He rares signs "all done" and he loves the water.  The sessions focus on standing and walking on a platform in the water, surfing on the platform with it rocking back and forth, kicking his legs, shifting weight on a floating raft, balancing on a noodle, lifting foam bar bells, pushing off his legs from the sides of the pool and balancing on his arms with his body held in the air.  It's funny to think back at his first three aqua therapies.  The therapist had to sing during the entire session and I had to be in the water to calm him down.  Now he loves it and he doesn't even realize he's getting great therapy.

Developmental Playgroup:  We have only attended one class.  This is a stepping stone that leads right into school, with some structured activities and some play time.  It was so cute to see Jack in a school type setting.  He did very well and the therapist said he was ready for a class like this.  He participated and was interested in what the class was doing.  The class has 5 kids total and Jack is the youngest.  I think it is great so Jack can see what the bigger kids are doing and he will learn from them.  And the other kids can learn from Jack as well.  He is always eager to please and participate.

1 comment:

  1. busy little man, sounds like you are doing great! Aqua therapy soundl wonderful