Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Low Muscle Tone = Bad Habits

Nathan's new physical therapist has been sharing with us some of the problems that can develop with children with low muscle tone. Low muscled tone is called hypotonia ~ here are two links specifically regarding Down syndrome ~ Ds Hypotina & Got Tone. Here is another article from "Main Street" ~ Answers.com. These articles, posts and comments were worth a quick read. It has been useful for me to gain some knowledge on the connection between muscle tone and ligament strength. We were also informed of the frailness of Nathan's shoulders, wrists, and hips. In order to prevent dislocations we need to make certain adjustments in handling of Nathan. No more picking him up by his arms, no more pulling on his wrists during Row-Row-Your-Boat, no more holding his arms up while practicing walking (well we have to be careful how we walk and make sure we're not holding him up by his wrist/arm). There will be a focus on hip and core strengthening exercises.

On her second visit the p.t. ran through a list of possible "bad habit" suspects like crawling with his wrists turned over, sitting with his feet in the "w" position instead of on his knees, or going from a sit position to the floor by simply spreading his legs and folding over (sort of like a split). I was happy to report we were aware of these poor habits and have tried to avoid them through proper instruction. I no sooner got the words out of my mouth and look at what I see!!! I couldn't believe it. Look at his wrist! This was the same day. The first time Nathan has ever crawled around with his wrist turned over.

The next morning the special education therapist came for a visit and I explained what happened. She and I watched Nathan in an attempt to determine why all of a sudden after seven months of crawling he's developing this "bad habit." We think we figured it out! Nathan has begun crawling while carrying toys/balls and has determined that the only to hold them while crawling is to turn his wrist over. YEAH! That's ingenuity! He's figure out how to navigate and accomplish his own goals! Since this discovery, I've seen him do this a few times and we've done mommy correcting each time. I'll keep an eye on it and we'll work through it so Nathan can begin to self-correct.


Lianna said...

Oh, the whole idea of holding onto a toy while crawling is ingenius! I didn't ever see Gabe do this, but how the habit is formed is quite interesting.

It sounds like your family and your PT are working really well together!

abu luqman said...


As time goes your son will correct himself. My 15 month old who has Ds started crawling this week, he is dragging one leg , were so happy seeing him crawl.

Mairead Elizabeth Hickok said...

That's so great that he is crawling- he's got lots of places to go! He looks so big- we can't wait to see you in July!