... Our goal is to present books here that will directly benefit our primary reader: parents and family members. Some criteria we consider when reviewing books are:
• Does the publication promote a positive image of people with DS?
• Does it use people first language?
• Does it enhance the dignity of people with DS?
• Does it avoid stereotyping?
• Does it present accurate information?
• Does it recognize the value of person with DS?
Gross motor skills for children with Down syndrome (2nd edition), Patricia Winders, Woodbine House, 2013
Every child with Down syndrome should be evaluated for physical therapy intervention as an infant, and nearly every child with Down syndrome will receive physical therapy services at some point. Pat Winders sees children with Down syndrome exclusively, which makes her a unique expert in treating our children. This book is for you AND for your child’s physical therapist, who will benefit tremendously from Pat’s experience.
Gross motor development in children with Down syndrome is hindered by low muscle tone, increased joint flexibility, other medical issues, and decreased strength, but physical therapy can help overcome these challenges. It’s not so much about helping our children meet their physical milestones sooner, but helping them meet them in the right way — in a way that will serve them best as they grow. As Pat writes, “There are certain crucial results that need to be accomplished early in your child’s development so that he will have a body that is fit and functional throughout his life.” The focus in physical therapy should be on how and what your child learns, not how fast she learns it. (A hard lesson for all parents who like to meet those milestones!)
This book is for parents of children from birth through early elementary school, and we recommend you share it with your child’s physical therapist. The information here can be read cover to cover, but also as a resource when you need help on a specific area or skill. It’s a book you’ll pull off the shelf again and again as your child learns new things. SJ