Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Physical Therapy

O had her PT evaluation today. Gratefully O was in "the mood" to show all that she can do - both the good and the bad. The therapist was amazed that O is able to do many of the things that a baby of her chronological age should be able to do. Normally for a preemie they evaluate milestones based on the corrected age, which is counted from the original due date. Clearly O's willingness to work so hard and Mama O's patience and consistency in working with her are paying off.

The therapist feels that the back-arching and disorganized movement are problematic, not typical, and if not worked out will interfere with O being able to correctly experience the world and impede cognitive development. The most likely culprit is that the core muscles on the front of her torso are too weak relative to the back muscles. She gave us some things to do with her that will get O's brain to think about and respond with her stomach muscles. We need to hold her differently, she showed us a trick that stimulates the stomach muscles, etc. Once again, we have to learn a different set of tricks than what we have seen others use over the years. One thing is to avoid the normal instinct to pat or rub her back (other than during burping) as this causes the back muscles to respond. She says that the weak core muscles are par for the course with Down syndrome and will be something O will have to work on all her life. The weak core and strong back is the opposite of what most babies have so the normal instinct to rub and pat the back helps the balance get resolved in normal babies. In our case, it merely emphasizes the problem.

- Daddy O

1 comment:

Rooster said...

Sounds like a very informative and productive session. Glad you are learning so much about baby O. She is so smart and talented!