"Almost all of the conditions that effect the bones and joints of people with Down syndrome arise from the abnormal collagen found in Down syndrome. Collagen is the major protein that makes up ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone and the support structure of the skin. One of the types of collagen (type VI) is encoded bya gene found on the 21st chromosome. The resulting effect in people with DS is increased laxity, or looseness, of the ligaments that attach bone to bone and muscle to bone. The combination of this ligamentous laxity and low muscle tone contribute to orthopedic problems in people with Down syndrome." (Len Leshin, MD, FAAP)
Olivia has this! And you may have noted in other photos that she seemed extremely "double jointed" or extremely "flexible". This does cause her some trouble in learning gross motor skills, because her arms and legs don't know to go the "natural right way". At first it seemed odd to be working with a baby whose arms and legs etc, wanted to go every which way, but through lots of therapy, we are more well versed in how to help support her body to go the right way, and she has learned in some gross motor activities to get her body to go the right direction. In addition, gaining muscle strength around the joints helps get the joints to act more "normal".
I will write more tomorrow about this. Maintenance on Blogger is keeping me from uploading the photo that I want to post and write about some of her problems in learning to pull up to kneeling from her tummy.