Raising a child with Prader-Willi is both rewarding and challenging. The symptoms and specific needs of a child with this condition often change as the child grows and enters different stages of development. It’s important for parents to understand what Prader-Willi is, what symptoms to expect, and how a physical therapist can help a child maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
What is Prader-Willi?
Prader-Willi, or Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), is a genetic disorder characterized by early developmental delays and initial difficulty gaining weight. Many symptoms children experience with this condition normally change as they grow older. This is a rare condition, with one in about every 20,000 births in the United States each year.
What are the Symptoms of Prader-Willi?
There are several basic symptoms associated with this condition. Most of the symptoms are due to a dysfunction in the hypothalamus. This is an endocrine organ that is located at the lower part of the brain. The following are a few of the symptoms most children with Prader-Willi will experience.
- At birth a baby with this condition will often have poor muscle tone and a weak cry.
- Abnormally small feet and hands are usually associated with this disorder.
- A child with this condition will sometimes exhibit low to normal cognitive abilities.
- A child will often have a small stature, even though excessive weight gain will occur during childhood.
- Obesity due to increased hunger is often a major symptom of this disorder.
How Can Physical Therapy Help a Child with Prader-Willi?
A physical therapist can create a treatment plan to address the specific issues a child with Prader-Willi is struggling with. Different types of manual massage or exercise may be used to increase muscle tone. A physical therapist will be able to put together a fitness plan that will help a child lose excess weight. Physical therapy can also address many of the issues often associated with weight gain, including sleep apnea.
Jeevam Therapy in Edison and Paramus, NJ is Here for You
Jeevam Therapy in Edison and Paramus, NJ cares about your child’s emotional and physical development. A physical therapy plan can be put together to meet your child’s personal needs. A physical therapist can help your child learn exercises to improve muscle strength and control weight gain. Contact us today for an appointment at Jeevam Therapy in Edison and Paramus, NJ to find out how physical therapy can improve the health and well-being of your child.