Sunday, July 19, 2009


Breaking news: Matthew is walking!!

Eyewitnesses have confirmed that Matthew, who is 21 months old, is taking more and more independent steps. He still loses his balance but he has certainly come a long way. His Mommy and Daddy are very excited about this new outstanding achievement and very proud of Matthew.

With as much time spent training at Baby Boot Camp, in-home physical therapy sessions, and preschool gym, it is no surprise that Matthew has developed the strength, coordination, and balance needed to walk unsupported. He has always had the determination. He just needed time, guidance, and practice to put it all together.

An Overview of the Development of Infants with Down Syndrome (0-5 years) published by down syndrome online estimates that children with Down syndrome learn to walk alone at 23 months on average, with the range being 13 to 48 months. A child without Down syndrome walks alone at 12 months on average, with the range being 9 to 17 months. Other sources may have different ranges but the gist is kids with Down syndrome tend to walk later than their peers who do not have Down syndrome or other developmental delay that affects gross motor development.

Here's a general timeline of Matthew's developmental progress towards walking:

January 2009
Crawling on hands and knees. Pulling up on the coffee table. Learning to walk with a push toy/ walker.

February 2009
Walking with arms up while holding Mommy or Daddy's hands. Taking more steps with walker while leaning heavily on it.

March 2009
Cruising around the coffee table one-way. Pulling up to stand with help. Pulling up to stand on the sliding glass door or similar flat surface. Leaning less on walker while pushing, still not steering.

April 2009
Cruising around the coffee table both ways. Standing without support for about 5 seconds. Practically running with walker but not steering yet.

May 2009
Cruising from coffee table to sofa to chair to ottoman. Cruising along the sliding glass door and other similar flat surfaces. Treadmill training. Learned to steer his walker.

June 2009
Getting up from a sitting position on his own then lunging (and laughing) towards Mommy or Daddy. Taking 2 to 6 wobbly steps.

July 2009
Taking more independent steps, pivoting while walking to change direction. Better at maintaining balance.

Matthew offers a few words of encouragement to other upcoming walkers, "Da da da buh buh AAAA!! (clapping)"
Translation: "You can do it!! (clapping)"

Related posts:
Baby Boot Camp
The Crawler and the Cat
Have Walker, Will Travel
Treadmill Training for Babies with Down Syndrome


McTriplet Mommy said...

YEAH Matthew!!!! :) What a BIG boy!! :)

Isaac woke up early this morning and came in while I was watching your video. He wants to add, "That baby is SO cute!" :)

Take care,

RK said...

Way to go Matthew!!! And way to go Ria for being so organized with his progress! I wanna be you. :)

Hope to see you guys soon..

Lori said...

*Cheers* for Matthew!! It's so exciting to see a child reach that milestone, especially when you know they worked extra hard to get there. I am so excited for you all!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Way to go Matthew!!!!!

Holly Pennell-Salegna said...

Waaahooo! YAY! GREAT JOB! What a milestone!

Adrienne said...


MaggieMae said...

Yeahhhh Matthew!!! And, congrats to Mom and Dad too. Keep up the good work, all!

Beverly said...

great job Matthew!! How exciting, all your work has paid off!

The Hapa Girl said...

How exciting! I just talked about Lillian taking her first steps and it's so wonderful!!! But Matthew is taking off!

Monica Crumley said...

Tears of joy here, Ria! Way to go Matthew! I love the giggles and little arms straight out for balance. I'm going to show JM when he wakes up. Maybe he can learn how :-)

Jill said...

aaaaahhhhh!!! we all gathered around the computer and laughed right along with the video!! the kids wanted to watch Matthew over and over again, his little laugh is so adorable! YaY Matthew!! Way to go little man! I feel like a proud aunt or something, sheeshh. Great video, Ria....really super cute. wooohooo!!

Signe said...

Not only is he walking but he's walking really well. I love it that he lifts his feet as well as he does. My little one, Lauren, just started walking as well (she is 22 months) but doesn't want to lift her feet quite so much. Congrats - he seems thrilled and it really is a big accomplishment!

Rey Minano said...

Lolo & Lola are ecstatic!

Monica said...

Yeeeaaaa Matthew!!! That is awesome!!! And the video in June with his giggling just made my night, I needed that!! I think I'm gonna watch it a few more times!! Thanks for sharing Ria, it really did make my heart smile!

Lisa said...


Far Above Rubies said...

Ria, that's great news. Yeah Matthew.

Lori said...

Way to go, Matthew!! How exciting for you little man! Soon he will be running and you will not be able to keep up with him at the park! :)

M.Hilton said...

Congrats, Matthew! :)

Ria said...

Thanks for the cheers everyone!!

Cheryl said...

Hurrah Matthew!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Go Matthew!!! Go Matthew!!!!

We are very excited & proud of your latest accomplishment!!!

Auntie Kris

Michelle said...

Yay Matthew! That is such a fun milestone!

Rosa said...

Great Post! You are really good keeping track of Matthew's milestones. I love the video of Matthew walking toward his dad.

Matthew had the determination to get around, but it is something we didn't see with Tommy. We noticed Tommy's lack of motivation since he was 9 month old. He sat unsupported when he was 8 month old and by 12 month he occasionally sat independently when we were not looking at him. After this, we didn't see much progress until September when he was 18 month. His PT took him out of his therapy. I even lost weight, I was just skin and bones because I was so much focussed to motivate him, but nothing worked until we gave him a break form the all the therapies. Then, he did in 7 weeks what he didn't do in 7 months. After this, we didn't see much progress until the last 5 weeks and then, he is almost close to walk. Tommy's gross motor skills don't have a typical pattern. I think part of this may be related to the vestibular system. Tommy seems to need more sensory input. He was evaluated and he doesn't have a sensory processing disorder. He just need more sensory input. What they said in the place that evaluate him is that he is just full of life. Our team has been working on giving him more sensory input and then I have seen his motivation coming alone. I don't know how common is this in kids with Down syndrome, but if one day you get some information about it please let me know.