Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why is she so flexible?

I was asked this regarding a recent post and I think it's a very good question.

Not everyone that reads here knows the nuances of Ds and I forget that sometimes.

Playette can sit and chew on her toes if she wants, which she's tending to do more often now that she in super-teething mode. [Why not one of the many items we've purchased for this specific purpose? Who knows. She wants the toes.]

She can also fall asleep sitting up, with her face on the floor...if you can picture that. Like, face on shins.

Here's a great explanation of why she's so flexible:

Ligamentous laxity: Children with Down syndrome also have increased flexibility in their joints. This is because the ligaments that hold the bones together have more slack than is usual. Ligamentous laxity is particularly noticeable in the hips of infants with Down syndrome. When lying on his back, the legs of an infant with Down syndrome will tend to be positioned with his hips and knees bent and his knees wide apart. Later you will notice it in your child's feet. You will notice that when standing, his feet are flat, and he does not have an arch. This increased flexibility tends to make the joints less stable, and it is, therefore, more difficult to learn to balance on them.
-- Patricia C. Winders, PT

For more info, click here.

This is part of the reason why it has taken her longer to sit, crawl, stand, cruise, and walk than many of her typically developing peers. We go to PT and OT to help her learn how to do these things properly, instead of opting for the path of least resistance.

Not that I blame her. How often would any of us do things the easy way if we didn't have someone there telling us how it should be done? Ever tried lifting weights? In the beginning, you may try lifting more than you should. It's difficult. And then because you want to accomplish the goal, you make jerky movements. Yeah, the weight is up, but what damage have you done? What if you did that every time? Once you bring in a trainer or a knowledgeable partner, you learn and start to see better results.

The therapists are the trainers, while BD and I are the "knowledgeable partners."

I hope I didn't totally just make a craptacular analogy and that you kinda get what I mean.

Ever have a question? Let me know and I'll tell you from my perspective. I'm not a by-the-book expert, so please take what I say with a grain of salt and know that I have one kid with Ds and that every child is different.


Jessica said...

I think that's a great explanation!

ps Drew chews on his toes too :)

Cathy said...

Lily loves her toes too!!!!

I'm going to remember that word...craptacular...cracked me up :)

Have a Happy New Year!!!

Michelle said...

Just yesterday Kayla was on the floor sitting and spread her legs into a split. My sister made some comment about how she wishes she could do that, and how is she so flexible. Joe and I pretty much said, "you have to have Down syndrome!" LOL we just told her it was the loose ligaments that makes her so flexible.

Anonymous said...

E is the queen of folding in half like this, she does it even in her sleep.

sheree said...

oh wow. Can't wait to see what gymnastics moves Gabby comes up with ;)