Holding the sideline
Coraline has fortnightly physiotherapy visits to help with her lower muscle tone (hypotonia), which can be a characteristic of Down’s Syndrome. She’s pretty excellent; whenever you put her on the floor she’s busy rolling!
What I loved last week was that her Physiotherapist said that Coraline can now hold herself in a sideline position (i.e. on her side) and that she now has the strength to stay in it, whereas apparently at our last appointment two weeks ago she would have rolled back and not been able to hold the position on her side. I hadn’t noticed this. It’s remarkable how much can happen in two weeks. I also loved that Coraline would roll to get toys at the appointment and I hadn’t realised she does this either. Perhaps as you are not looking for these things, and when they are pointed out you think, “oh yes amazing”.
I find the thought which goes into the exercises we do fascinating - for example there’s one where she sits on your knee and you jiggle your knee about, and that’s because she can’t quite hold her head up straight, and she has to really focus to try and keep her head up when you’re jiggling her (whilst you’re holding her around her tummy for support there). It’s throwing her balance out so she has to try hard to keep her head up. This is all helping her with head control.
Coraline’s Physiotherapist says floor time is really important for her. Apparently for her to have her legs up like this requires core muscles, so we say “well done Coraline”! As she has lower tone things like the simple motion of sucking a bottle for feeding require energy from her, as her chewing muscles are fine motor skills and the basis for fine motor skills are gross motor skills which we work on with her Physiotherapist. She can get more tired from having flexible joints.
I think it’s lovely, in light of that, how busy Coraline is when you put her on the floor, with her rolling about. So all in all, a big hooray for Coraline working hard. And we recognise how hard you’re working!