From the very first months, physiotherapy is very important for the young Down's syndrome baby. It will help him to find his balance, to position his body, to pick things up with his fingers, etc. Vanessa began when she was 5 months old but only because her family were unaware of the existence and importance of such therapies. She continued with physiotherapy until she was 14. After that, she did rhythmic dancing.

Your baby will learn how to manage his body movements within his space and surroundings. This activity is not important if your baby is already good at moving his body. You should discuss it with your doctor to decide. Vanessa has good balance, so she only did it from the age of 6 months to 2 1/2.



Speech therapy

As soon as your baby begins to babble, he should start speech therapy. He will learn, first, to control his tongue, to produce sounds and later, to speak, to associate ideas and pictures. It will train his logical thought, his reading and his writing. You should give him varied musical toys and you must speak to him a lot (you can explain what you are doing and feeling) ; it is important to tell him what you feel about his disability. Vanessa first went to speech therapy when she was 18 months. But this age would depend on each baby development. She went for 14 years - one hour per week.



Cranial osteopathy.

This is a manual, gentle therapy. Gentle manipulations of the skull helps to oxygenate the brain, improves the facial structure, etc. People with DS often have a weakness in the vertebra in the neck which causes neck ache.

Vanessa began to go once a week at the age of 41/2 as previously her family were not aware of this therapy. By the end of the 5th session, she began to speak fluently. But don't think it will necessarily be the same with your baby ! it depends on his body : each child is different. Later, Vanessa went once a month and now she goes just once every 4 months.




You can use homeopathy to reduce the problems of colds, bronchitis and pneumonia, starting each year in September and continuing through until the Spring. Children with DS are very prone to winter infections.




Doman method

This method was found by Doctor Doman in Philadelphia (USA). This method achieves results with children with multiple disabilities. For our children with DS, it is difficult to know the benefits. I know some DS children who used this method and are quite able. But this method is extremely demanding, taking a lot of time and energy. Vanessa didn't use this method for long enough to comment on the results.




Feuerstein method

This method is an intellectual one. The child learns how to think. It was created by Professor Feuerstein in Israel. Vanessa has not tried it.




Tomatis method

Professor Tomatis, of Italian origins, observed during the second world war that the power of the ear is immense. The ear begins to be active in the mother's womb. Here again the benefits of this method can't be measured as it is not used on its own, but as an eventual supplement to other therapies. Vanessa has tried it but the results are vague. It can at least do no harm.






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