Child Therapy: Down Syndrome Milestones

Last month, we wrapped up our series of developmental milestones for typical developing children. The series included gross motor, fine motor, social, speech, and feeding development. For this article, we will focus on gross motor, language, and social/self-help development for children with Down syndrome.

What is Down Syndrome?

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Down syndrome is a congenital disorder that results from a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. In the United States, 1 in 691 babies are born with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome typically face developmental delays in most areas of growth. Early intervention is encouraged for families who have a child with Down syndrome.

Early intervention is an individualized program composed of therapy, exercise, and various activities. It is encouraged for children with Down syndrome as early of an age as possible. Most children with Down syndrome will receive physical, speech, and occupational therapy.

Down Syndrome Milestones

The milestones listed are based on early intervention goals set by therapists. Each milestone is organized based on the type of therapy used to address the goal. Compared to our last developmental milestones, most of the Down syndrome milestones may range by years. Each child is different and their progression is based upon their specific needs.

For Physical Therapy:

  • Sits alone: 6-30 months
  • Crawls: 8-22 months
  • Stands: 1-3.25 years
  • Walks alone: 1-4 years

For Speech Therapy:

  • First word: 1-4 years
  • Two word phrases: 2-7.5 years

For Occupational Therapy:

  • Meaningful smile: 1.5-5 months
  • Feeds self with fingers: 10-24 months
  • Drinks from a cup unassisted: 12-32 months
  • Uses spoon alone: 13-39 months
  • Potty trained: 2-7 years old
  • Dresses self unassisted: 3.5-8.5 years

If you feel your child is significantly behind in any of these areas, please contact Lumiere Children’s Therapy for an evaluation.

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Resources:

http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Therapies-Development/Early-Intervention/

http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/What-Is-Down-Syndro