Gross motor skills
Many children and adults with Chung-Jansen Syndrome have hypotonia, or low muscle tone. This causes a global delay in development. A physical therapist is very important for the stimulation of gross motor skills (sitting, crawling, walking, etc.). Because a developmental delay is often noted in early childhood, a physical therapist usually involved from infancy. A physical therapist could also work within a medical daycare center or a rehabilitation center associated with a therapeutic toddler group or special education program.
Medical aids that are commonly used are:
- arch supports / orthopedic shoes;
- spreader pants for hip dysplasia;
Fine motor skills
For children with Chung-Jansen, occupational therapists are often called in to stimulate fine motor skills (using fingers/hands with hand/eye coordination). The therapist can practice with the children with, for example, cutting, coloring, drawing and writing. The occupational therapist can also offer targeted help in promoting the self-reliance of children, such as teaching themselves to dress and undress. The occupational therapist is often involved as an external expert in regular education, but also works in a special education program or at a rehabilitation center.
Fine motor aids that are commonly used are:
- spring scissors;
- pencil grip.
A speech therapist stimulates speech, which can be delayed in children with Chung-Jansen Syndrome. Tips can also be given regarding problems with eating (oral motor skills). Many young children with the syndrome struggle to drink properly from the breast or bottle. Chewing and swallowing food regularly causes problems, such as choking. This also has to do with low muscle tone. However, it has been noted that these issues tend to get better as the child matures.
Though late, eventually speech develops normally in most Chung-Jansen Syndrome children, but some unfortunately remain non-verbal.
Speech aids that are commonly used are:
- speech computer;
- feeding pump / tube feeding.