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:
Crawling on hands and knees. Pulling up on the coffee table. Learning to walk with a push toy/ walker.
Walking with arms up while holding Mommy or Daddy's hands. Taking more steps with walker while leaning heavily on it.
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.
Cruising around the coffee table both ways. Standing without support for about 5 seconds. Practically running with walker but not steering yet.
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.
Getting up from a sitting position on his own then lunging (and laughing) towards Mommy or Daddy. Taking 2 to 6 wobbly steps.
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)"
Baby Boot Camp
The Crawler and the Cat
Have Walker, Will Travel
Treadmill Training for Babies with Down Syndrome