Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5: (31 for 21)

*(Warning:  picture & video overload....
.....pause music at the bottom of the page)*

"Children with Ds attempt to compensate for their hypotonia, ligamentous laxity, decreased strength and short limbs by developing compensatory movement patterns which, if allowed to persist, often develop into orthopedic and functional problems. The goal of physical therapy is to minimize the development of the compensatory movement patterns that children with DS are prone to develop." (Down Syndrome Quarterly) 

"Gait is a primary example. Ligamentous laxity, hypotonia and weakness in the legs lead to lower extremity posturing with hip abduction and external rotation, hyperextension of the knees and pronation and eversion of the feet.  Children with DS typically learn to walk with their feet wide apart, their knees stiff and their feet turned out. They do so because hypotonia, ligamentous laxity and weakness make their legs less stable. Locking their knees, widening their base and rotating their feet outward are all strategies to increase stability. The problem is, however, that this is an inefficient gait pattern for walking. The weight is being borne on the medial (inside) borders of the feet, and the feet are designed to have the weight borne on the outside borders. If this pattern is allowed to continue, problems will develop with both the knees and the feet. Walking will become painful, and endurance will be decreased. Physical therapy should begin teaching the child with DS the proper standing posture (i.e., feet positioned under the hips and pointing straight ahead with a slight bend in the knees) when he or she is still very young.  With appropriate physical therapy, gait problems can be minimized or avoided." (Down Syndrome Quarterly)

These excerpts coincide with where Landon is at this point in his physical therapy (PT).  Since Landon entered Early Intervention (EI) 17 months ago, all of his services have primarily been home based.  Scott & I felt that having therapy provided in our home, for Landon, would be less stressful for him.  What better way to learn than to be in your own natural environment.  If Landon's services were provided in our home, with his things, Scott & I would have the tools to work with Landon at all times.  

As Landon is getting older and reaching new milestones, we are realizing that our strategy needs to be changed.  We are now realizing that he will benefit MORE if some of his services are received at our local Early Intervention Center.  After all, we cannot compete with some of their equipment and their SI room.  

Now that Landon is standing and attempting to walk with his "walking toy" (semi-independently), he is now showing signs that he is ready for gait training.  And so the fun begins!!  Up until this past month or so, Landon has really enjoyed his "land" based therapy.  Mostly tolerant of all exercises.  But he DID have his moments.  And he deserved every one of them.  He sure is one hard worker.  "Water" based therapy, started off well and then he just wasn't feeling it.  I am happy to say that he is slowly bouncing back.  

Landon is now venturing over to some new and fun (and some not so fun) equipment.  Pictures speak a thousand words!!  

As grateful as I am for all of these services that are available to Landon, my heart at times weighs a ton.  Moments when happiness & sadness cross paths.  I am so happy that Landon is doing so well and making such great gains, but at the same time, I am so sad that his little 18lb. body has to work so hard.

Landon, you are my hero!!!!


  1. WOW! That center looks AWESOME! I wish we could transfer there for a bit! It's funny, because as we transitioned into the center with Lillian, she no longer wanted me around. She would actually be harder to work with. But the minute I left the room, she did what she was asked to do!

  2. Isn't it amazing that there are so many great resources?

    I am learning so much reading these posts.

    I can imagine how hard it is to watch him struggle through the therapy sessions. It's hard to be a mom sometimes.

  3. He looks so cute on the treadmill. I agree with the great gains but, our little ones have to work so hard! That does look like a great place for his sessions.

  4. Wow, you have great resources and services available, you guys are lucky

    Your posts are very informative, thanks for sahring :)

  5. That place looks AMAZING!!! I totally get how you feel both happy and sad at the same time; it's great it's there but wouldn't it be great if you didn't need it! Landon sure looks like he has fun while he there and working hard and that's what matter most! :) He is just so darn cute...I could eat him up!

  6. Your EI center looks amazing! How long has Landon been going there? He is doing amazing and I know that it has to do with you guys following through with it outside of the therapy times! Great job and I hope Sweet Pea can follow in Landon's shoes!

  7. I love seeing pictures of therapy, it's nice to compare. I can't believe you guys have a treadmill! I wish we had one of those and that bike looks awesome! Landon is such a cutie.