Why to Have Occupational Therapy for Down Syndrome?

Why to Have Occupational Therapy for Down Syndrome?

Occupational Therapy for down syndromeAn extra chromosome is no big deal. In fact, this is what makes all the difference.

When we befriend people, we never count on their chromosomes. Do we? Then, why create a hullabaloo over Down Syndrome?Perhaps, it’sbecause people don’t know much about it, and that’s why, are unable to take the required action.Most of them don’t even know that rehabilitation therapies are the only cure for this condition.

Furthermore, special parents may look for immediate relief in physiotherapy and occupational therapies. And, our charitable school for special children, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) is one such place that offers respite to the children with Down Syndrome. Here, catch up with the paediatric physiotherapist, Lallan Kumar for a quick knowledge session at the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Department (OTPT) and discover more.

He works with kids having delayed development milestones to enhance their motor and cognition skills. For example, if a child is not able to eat properly with the normal spoon, then it is modified accordingly.If a kid is not able to sit and stand properly due to floppy muscles,then the focus is on muscle strengthening i.e. correcting posture and balancing the body. Sometimes,there is a need to integrate the functioning of all sensory organs in coordination. In addition, there may be a requirement for special education owing to problems in the brain.

Neuro-Developmental Treatment

The paediatric therapists at MBCN are involved in neuro-developmental treatment and improving the activities of daily living which cover things, such as brushing, dressing, grooming.There are several activities undertaken as a part of rehabilitation therapies inside the OTPT department.They use props like gym ball to correct the impaired sense of movement and joint perception.Treadmill is helpful in increasing the endurance level of leg and arm muscles.

Improved Hand Functioning

Multi-gym and cycling are used therapeutically. According to their abilities, the special students are made to stand on the balancing board and taught to maintain the side-by-side, anterior and posterior balance.Hand functioning unit ensures strengthening of the muscles to perform activities like buttoning of clothes and tying shoelaces.Colourful balls are included in the daily routine to promote the bilateral use of hands.

Peck board improves the pinch grasp of students as they learn to put clips on it. This makes them able to hold pen and prepares them for the pre-writing skills under special education. Dumb-bells and different kinds of peck boards are available for children with special needs to get a grasp over things. Forfine grip, they are taught to sort grains and there is a Tweezer Dexterity Test that fulfils the objective of testing fine hand function and coordination. Thereafter, things are made more complex for better results.

For Joint Proprioception

Adaptive equipment like weight cuffs ranging from 250 gm to 2 kg are tied on the body parts where the muscles need to be strong. The OTPT department has several assistive devices to correctdeformities like bending of knees in the differently-abled children.To correct the joint laxity, the special kids are made to undergo the Joint Proprioception method in which a compression is given on the affected area of treatment.

These treatments play an important part in supporting a child with Down Syndrome to achieve functional independence but the real effort comes from their will power and tenacity.

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