Gracie is a tenacious, loveable three-year-old with Down Syndrome. At her initial evaluation, she presented with extremely low tone that was causing her an inability to crawl, transition in and out of sitting, attain a standing position or walk. Gracie was unable to participate in dressing; she would not push her arms or legs through clothing. She also struggled with developmental play tasks such as stacking, placing items in and out, and did not want to participate in cleaning up activities. Finally, Gracie exhibited behavioral and sensory regulation difficulties that were often displayed through biting, hitting, or scratching.
OT intervention focused on sensory regulation and overall strengthening initially to improve skills necessary for ADL participation. The therapist educated Gracie’s family on sensory regulation and implemented a sensory diet to improve overall regulation and ability to participate in developmental tasks. OT focused on upper extremity and core strengthening during initial sessions prior to engaging Gracie in fine motor and dressing tasks.
PT intervention initially focused on general strengthening of her core and hip/shoulder musculature, improving neuromotor coordination, and implementing play activities that would increase Gracie’s ability to dynamically stabilize throughout different positions. Gracie’s family was consistent at working with her throughout each week in crawling or pulling to stand for desired toys.
Gracie has made excellent progress since beginning therapy services. She is currently crawling & scooting throughout her house, independently transitioning through various positions, and standing without assistance. Gracie is now participating in dressing by pushing her arms through once a shirt is placed over head and standing for caregivers to pull pants up. She is utilizing a pincer grasp and isolated index finger to activate and play with cause-and-effect toys and will make marks on paper with a writing utensil. Gracie has gained so much independence with exploring her environment and is now able to pursue various play interactions with siblings or friends. Gracie’s family is extremely excited with her progress and continue to work side-by-side with the therapists to ensure her skills continue to improve!