Children with Down syndrome (DS) present with motor delays as compared to their typically developing peers. Therapists are skilled at identifying delays. However, it is more challenging to determine if a child is following the expected skill progression for an individual with DS. Knowledge of a child’s progress within their own peer group is important because it can impact treatment decision making.
This course will review evidence-based strategies used to identify how a child’s performance compares to peers of the same age with DS. This will include the use of the GMFM-88, gross motor curves, and the prediction of motor achievement formula developed by Palisano et al., 2001. Additionally, an evidence-based motor skills chart developed by the authors of this presentation will be reviewed. The impact of the results of the motor skill assessments on treatment timing, dosing, and technique decision making will be discussed. Evidence-based treatment strategies will be reviewed including: treadmill training, orthoses, virtual reality, aerobic training, resistance exercise, and adaptive sports. Suggestions of how treatment techniques may be modified to fit into a variety of treatment settings will be provided. This course will also help clinicians’ educate and empower families of children with DS.