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