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Occupational Therapy for Downsyndrome

Occupational Therapists play a key role within the multidisciplinary team for treatment of individuals with Downsyndrome. Occupational therapists are able to provide practical support and advice, enabling individuals with Downsyndrome to live more independent lives.

The type of interventions Occupational Therapists use will depend on the difficulties which are highlighted from an initial assessment. The type and severity of symptoms will vary amongst individuals with Down syndrome, and all intervention programmes will be tailored to suit the individual and their needs. Occupational Therapy sessions commonly focus on the individual's ability to complete skills to enable independence. These skills include:

  • Self-care
  • Fine Motor
  • Gross Motor
  • Play and leisure
  • Feeding
  • Skills related to a school setting e.g. writing, printing, cutting etc.
  • Sensory development

Occupational Therapists can help individuals with Downsyndrome by breaking down tasks into smaller steps, and then teaching them how to complete each step by step task. Occupational therapists can also provide appropriate aids and adaptations to assist with the completion of skills. This may include advice on positioning during certain tasks e.g. specially adapted chairs to use at school, due to the low muscle tone (hypotonia) experienced by most people with Down Syndrome, it is important that good posture is reinforced.

Occupational Therapists will work closely with the parents/carers and educational staff to provide them with techniques and strategies to help their child reach their potential in activities of daily life. Occupational Therapists will