Thanks to intensive early intervention therapies, Alexander has been making good strides both physically and cognitively.
After Alexander’s diagnosis in December 2009, his parents began developing a home therapy program based on occupational therapy textbooks, Down syndrome intervention guides, and the books published by Philadelphia’s Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. This first, early program included visual stimulation, vestibular exercises, core muscle strength development and touch therapy. Alexander began crawling at 9 months old using a padded elevated track which helped him learn how to move forward using his arms. By his first birthday he could crawl more than 25m per day on flat ground.
In May 2010 Alexander began his formal program with the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, a brain development thinktank and treatment centre based in Philadelphia. The Institutes developed a targeted, individualized program of therapies for Alexander, which included intensive patterning, crawling distance goals, brain oxygenation, auditory and sensory development exercises, and a complex nutritional program. Al’s Institutes therapy program has expanded over the last year to also include a reading program, mathematics, walking underneath an overhead ladder, respiratory patterning and other exercises.
Alexander also attends home-based therapist sessions in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech and language pathology.
Alexander now crawls more than 600 metres a day. He has a ten-word sign vocabulary and can read over 500 words and short 3- to 5-word sentences; he is technically non-verbal but has been making excellent recent strides with his imitation and speech approximations. He recognizes numbers and is starting to do simple equations and learning how to tell time. He is pulling himself up to standing, has begun a swimming program, and is even starting to potty train.
Most days he exhausts his parents, therapists and dedicated volunteers long before he is ready to stop learning, doing and seeing more.
- Kleefstra Syndrome
- Institutes for the achievement of human potential
- Charitable Foundation of the Family