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6 Exercises to help kids with Down syndrome learn to walk

Maureen used to be obsessed with baseball -- and then she had children. After she welcomed her son, Charlie, and his extra chromosome, she discovered her passion for writing about Down syndrome and disability-related issues.

With two tod...

Strengthen that core!

Children with Down syndrome (Ds) often have a much harder time learning to walk, primarily because of their characteristic low muscle tone. Here are six exercises one physical therapist recommends to help children build strength.

Reaching from knees

Strengthen that core!

Again, it’s all about combining play with workouts that build muscle and balance. By encouraging your child to play from his knees, he can increase his balance and strengthen his legs. This exercise can also focus on fine motor development, by including a toy that requires specific finger movements, such as pushing a button or turning a wheel.

“Any higher surface will do,” Nikki says. “A step stool or small ottoman will do the trick. Even a stack of pillows creates a challenge high enough to make your child reach for objects on top.”

Next up: Creative crawling

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