Ok... so let's start some more learnin, shall we? Today I want to talk about Hypotonia. Some of you are like, what's that? Is she hyper? Not the same... here's a little definition for ya from WebMD. (Thank you Internet Gods/Al Gore?? for the information superhighway.)

Hypotonia is a state of reduced muscle tone, usually related to the skeletal muscles. Hypotonia ranges from mild to severe in people who have Down syndrome, although muscles tend to strengthen with age. Young children with Down syndrome often have hypotonia throughout their bodies.

Babies with Down syndrome often have delays in reaching physical developmental milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking. Constipation may also frequently occur, caused by weak intestinal muscles that move stools more slowly through the digestive tract.

I often get comments from people on Lb's pics where she is sticking her tongue out. At 25+ months, Lb is also not walking yet and has to wear braces on her ankles and feet for support. Lb feels different to hold than her sister (and most babies) because of hypotonia. When dressing her, she is more floppy. Lb took much longer to sit and hold her head up than most kiddos.

All of these reasons are because of or related to hypotonia. While none of them are negative and many are temporary, this is one of the physical traits that can cause delay in children with Ds. I am not concerned that she will never walk. I know that her sticking her tongue out may or may not change. Her tongue protrusion could also be related to her tonsils and adnoids needing to be removed. We don't have any bowel issues at this time and her "floppiness" makes her the BEST SNUGGLER I know! (Although her sister gives a good run.)

Often, little kids will say to me, she's sticking her tongue out at me. I tell them, "well aren't you lucky?" This confuses them but they move on and forget about it.

Until next time...


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