Treadmill Training Helps Babies with Down Syndrome Walk Sooner

Research photo showing a toddler walking on a treadmill, supported by a parent. Click to read the news release.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have reported that babies with Down syndrome learned to walk 4 to 5 months earlier than usual after receiving treadmill training for 8 minutes a day, 5 days a week. A parent would sit on a bench straddling a treadmill, and hold the baby as steps were taken. More intense training may improve abilities even further.

On average, kids walk around 12-months-of-age, but babies with Down syndrome typically learn between 24 and 28 months.

This is important because mobility (independence) is a milestone that hastens a child’s understanding of the world around him and cascades into many other milestones.

A bit of bad news is that the treadmill costs $1,200, although it’s unclear what special features it has aside from not having adult hand rails.

Other links:

[Hat tip: initial news link via Bebés y más]


2 Responses to “Treadmill Training Helps Babies with Down Syndrome Walk Sooner”

  1. Dan says:

    Hello- I like your blog a great deal. The one thing that caught my eye with this report though is how you titled it with Down Syndrome Babies…please use person first language. Every little bit helps in breaking down barriers. Here is a wonderful website with some guidelines.

    November 20th, 2007 at 5:23 am

  2. AJ says:

    Thanks Dan, I changed “Down syndrome babies” to “babies with Down syndrome.” I see the distinction and will share the page with other writers.

    I was surprised to see your linked page assail the word “normal,” but then suggest ways to still use the word.

    I would NOT write: “Children with normally developing mobility learn to walk around 12-months-of-age…”

    I DID write: “On average, kids walk around 12-months-of-age…”

    I kept the word “average” because it’s a concise and honest word. Parents who track their baby’s milestones are accustomed to their kids being anything but average.

    November 20th, 2007 at 9:19 am