presented by Kathy Martin
Children with Down syndrome have known gross motor delays. A key role of early intervention programs is educating parents on how to foster motor development for their child. Current understanding of how typically developing children acquire new skills will be used to identify strategies to teach parents to optimize motor learning and the practice of new skills for their child with Down syndrome. These concepts will also be related back to the ideal role of a pediatric physical therapist in the early intervention setting.
Dr. Martin received a BA in Athletic Training from Purdue University in 1987, an MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1990, and a Doctor of Health Science from the University of Indianapolis in 2003. She joined the faculty of the Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis in 2000, and is currently a Professor. Her clinical background includes early intervention and inpatient pediatric general acute care. Dr. Martin teaches the pediatric portion of the DPT curriculum, and her research efforts have been focused on orthotic effectiveness, and children with Down syndrome. Dr. Martin is currently the Chair of the Education Committee for the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy and has been actively involved in identifying best practices in pediatric physical therapy professional education. She is also the 2008 winner of the Indiana Chapter of the APTA Frances Ekstam Award for outstanding contribution to the physical therapy profession.
This chapter will review several contemporary motor learning theories and apply them to early motor development for infants and toddlers. Current data on motor skill acquisition of typically developing infants and toddlers will be reviewed with an emphasis on its relevance for early intervention for children with Down syndrome.
This chapter will briefly review the federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) mandating early intervention programs. The focus of early intervention compared to traditional physical therapy will be explored. These concepts will then be applied to best practice in early intervention for children with Down syndrome.
This chapter will build on the 2 previous chapters and provide examples of how to put the presented ideas into practice. Specific examples will be provided to show how common play activities in the home can be adapted to focus more on dynamic motor skill practice.