Therapies & Development

Physical Therapy

The appropriate goal of physical therapy for children with Down syndrome (Ds) is not to accelerate their rate of gross motor development as is commonly assumed. The goal is to minimize the development of abnormal compensatory movement patterns that children with DS are prone to develop. Early physical therapy makes a decisive difference in the long-term functional outcome of the child with DS. Beyond this goal, there is an additional opportunity that physical therapy makes available to parents. Because gross motor development is the first learning task that the child with DS encounters, it provides parents with the first opportunity to explore how their child learns. There is increasing evidence that that children with DS have a unique learning style. Understanding how children with Down syndrome learn is crucial for parents who wish to facilitate the development of gross motor skills as well as facilitating success in other areas of life including language, education and the development of social skills.
Patricia C. Winders, PT  


One Major Goal of Physical Therapy
It’s easy to fill overwhelmed and stressed out about your child’s development.  But have you ever wondered what the goal of all that hard work is?


Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy focuses on receptive language, or the ability to understand words spoken to you, and expressive language, or the ability to use words to express yourself. It also deals with the mechanics of producing words, such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume.  Some children only need help with language, others have the most problems with the mechanics of speech, and some need every kind of speech help there is.  Take a look at the guideline for speech and language therapists based on the best evidence of the children’s specific speech and language needs currently available.


The Basis for Speech, Language and Communication in People with Down Syndrome
By Libby Kumin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Founder, The Center for the Study of Speech and Language in Children with Down Syndrome


Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy specializes in the development of fine-motor and self-care skills. Examples of such skills include: manipulating toys; using a pencil for writing, drinking from a bottle and cup, and eating from a spoon. Infants and children with Down syndrome are typically delayed in developing these skills and have common characteristics which affect their fine motor development and ability to eat.


Occupational therapy practitioners guide individuals with Down syndrome and their families to help them reach their potential throughout the life span. Occupational therapy intervention should begin as soon as a diagnosis of Down syndrome is established, and should continue throughout the individual’s life.



Help Me Grow (Ohio)

The Help Me Grow program is designed to ensure Ohio’s children receive a healthy birth and the resources to warrant a healthy and productive start in life. An integral part of Ohio’s prenatal to age three system of supports, the services offered by Help Me Grow equip parents with the means to help their child acquire the early building blocks necessary for long term success. These initial achievements last a lifetime, as scientific evidence strongly suggests that a child’s success is significantly determined by the quality of nurturing in the first three years of life.


Adams County-Help Me Grow

Brown County - Help Me Grow

Butler County - Help Me Grow

Clermont County - Help Me Grow

Clinton County – Help Me Grow

Hamilton County - Help Me Grow

Highland County- Help Me Grow

Warren County- Help Me Grow


First Steps (Kentucky)

First Steps is a statewide early intervention system that provides services to children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 3 and their families. First Steps is Kentucky's response to the federal Infant-Toddler Program. First Steps offers comprehensive services through a variety of community agencies and service disciplines and is administered by the Department for Public Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.