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Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Mary H. Pavan, MD, Reviewer
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(2):206-207. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.2.206.
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Patricia Winders provides a true service to parents of children with Down syndrome, their pediatricians, and their early childhood teachers and therapists. She compiles her 16 years of experience with ample photographs, easy-to-read explanations, and checklists to provide activities and information to assist parents in following and facilitating motor development from birth to age 6 years. She gently conveys care, understanding, and support for each child and family.

Winders first explains the hypotonia, the increased flexibility in joints, the decreased strength, and the short arms and legs that make motor development a challenge for children with Down syndrome. Then she describes a variety of motivators such as toys, vocal imitation, turn-taking, and songs. Winders stresses careful timing for the introduction of new activities to decrease frustration and increase the sense of success, and she describes how to provide "strategically targeted support" in working on motor skills. She empowers parents: "When practicing motor skills, your child's success and enjoyment will be dependent on how you play, what type of toys you use, and where you place them." Winders establishes rapport with her readers and encourages them to contact her by providing her telephone number and e-mail address.

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