BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Infants with Down syndrome (DS) are consistently late walkers. The purpose of this investigation was to test the effects of individualized, progressively more intense treadmill training on developmental outcomes in infants with DS. SUBJECTS: Thirty infants born with DS were randomly assigned to receive lower-intensity, generalized treadmill training or higher-intensity, individualized training implemented by their parents in their homes. METHODS: Research staff members monitored implementation of training, physical growth, and onset of motor milestones of all infants on a monthly basis. RESULTS: Infants in the higher-intensity, individualized training group increased their stepping more dramatically over the course of training. Infants in the higher-intensity training group attained most of the motor milestones at an earlier mean age. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Treadmill training of infants with DS is an excellent supplement to regularly scheduled physical therapy intervention for the purpose of reducing the delay in the onset of walking.
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