Rehabilitation for children and young people with Down syndrome

Rehabilitation for children and young people with Down syndrome

Mgr. Anita Herman

Deputy Director

Intensive rehabilitation gives children and young people with Down syndrome and their parents the time and space to focus on their needs. While in the early years of life rehabilitation focuses on healthy motor and cognitive development, for adolescents the focus is on promoting their independence. For young children in particular, early rehabilitation can permanently improve their quality of life and naturally promote their social integration into society.

It is extremely important to create a motivating environment in which families are supported in developing the personality of children with Down syndrome by experienced professionals and the latest medical methods.

Your journey with us

Our multi-modal understanding of therapy means supporting motor skills and movement exercises, sensory awareness of your body, training fine motor and communication skills, speech understanding and expression, counseling with feeding issues or addressing other specific issues of a child or adolescent with Down syndrome.

Our goals for your child:

  • Strengthening the musculoskeletal system
  • supporting and improving movement skills
  • osteopathic manual therapy
  • Supporting communication skills and understanding
  • Speech therapy stimulation of the face and oral cavity (chewing, swallowing)
  • Supporting all-round personality development
  • Training of hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills
  • Improving memory and perception, cognitive abilities
  • Practicing self-care activities in everyday tasks
  • Improving social interaction with other people
  • Developing and strengthening the competences
AXIS is a safe place where children can receive the best possible support and be shaped according to their personality and potential. Our therapeutic and medical procedures are aimed at creating an equal relationship between the child and the professional in order to develop individually tailored and optimal rehabilitation strategies.
The use of weight suits in neurorehabilitation

The use of weight suits in neurorehabilitation

Dr. Bohdan Boiko

neurologist, medical director

Method of dynamic proprioceptive correction

Based on our experience in neurorehabilitation, we strive to continuously improve the methods used in order to improve the quality of rehabilitation care and achieve the maximum possible positive results for each client.

The method of dynamic proprioceptive correction is one of the basic methods we use in our AXIS concept. This method is based on the use of various corrective weight-bearing suits that act as a dynamic brace. The prototype of the suit was born in the 1970s under the name “Penguin Suit”. It was developed in Russian space medicine and its role was to protect astronauts from body and brain damage after spaceflight. Later, this technology became the basis for the therapeutic suit that we also use when caring for patients with various neuromotor disorders.

The weight suit works as a system of elastic elements: shorts, vest boots and adjustable sponges with varying resistance that create an individually adjustable brace that helps stabilize the body, corrects movements and creates the necessary level and direction of resistance for each movement performed. Its main purpose is to provide compression, support and increase proprioceptive stimulation, allowing the patient to better sense their body and improve muscle function. The suit is designed to act as a “dynamic exoskeleton” as it supports movement using an external mechanism. Currently, around 1,000 facilities worldwide use the suit under the names Adeli Suit, Regent, Therasuit, NeuroSuit and others. The suit enhances the effectiveness of neurophysiological exercises by amplifying afferent impulses to the patient’s brain; as a kind of soft brace, it stabilizes posture and corrects the patient’s movements, helping to bring pathological reflexes under control.

Both the energetic adequacy of the load generated by the suit’s force system and the optimal choice of its vector distribution, taking into account the motor stereotype created by the patient’s pathological muscle synergies over many years of disease, including the habitual position of the limbs in horizontal and vertical body posture, are essential for the treatment process.

As a result of generating loads on the antigravity muscles when performing selected exercises in corrective weight-bearing suits, there is a relative normalization of afferent flow from the musculo-articular apparatus. This, in turn, leads to the activation of the central brain structures responsible for the control of motor acts and creates the preconditions for the stimulation of the formation of lagging functional systems of the motor center.

Based on the experience of many years of work with various corrective weight-bearing suits (Adeli, TheraSuit, TheraTogs, Regent), we can say that each of them has its own specifics. Therefore, for maximum efficiency, in each individual case we decide to use one or the other corrective load suit. In doing so, we try to find new effective ways of improving existing corrective weight suits and at the same time develop our own version of the corrective weight suit.
Counselling room for children at risk

Counselling room for children at risk

Ing. Jana Sabová

Foundation Administrator, AXIS Foundation

The birth of a child is for most of us the happiest event in family life. However, the situation is completely different if everything is not right with the baby. Although the situation can quickly become complicated during childbirth, no one wants to admit that they may have a baby with a medical handicap. Already during pregnancy, some parents have to face an unexpected situation when the doctor tells them the baby’s diagnosis. However, these parents already know what to expect at the time of delivery and are thus, at least in theory, prepared for the new situation.

It is different when a healthy baby is born. Some of these babies fall into the group of children at risk on the basis of a paediatrician’s recommendation; many of them get there over time because the parents themselves do not like something about their baby’s development. With at-risk babies, there is no need to wait to see if the child catches up to his or her peers, nor is there any need to leave anything to chance.

Amálka’s parents also experienced a difficult situation. After the birth of the little princess, a surprise awaited them – a diagnosis of obstructive 3-chamber hydrocephalus. A round of examinations began, an operation to put a shunt in place, and since the parents did not want to wait, they started looking. To make matters worse, Amalia was diagnosed with left-sided hemiparesis. While searching for information, the parents and little Amalia stumbled upon our center and came under the care of the experts at AXIS Medical.

And they did well, because Amálka has already done more than enough. What has she achieved in that time? She uses her left hand better, has a better and stronger grip and hold of objects in her left hand, also speaks better, her vocabulary has expanded and she uses complete sentences. Visual control for the left side has improved and also independent walking. All thanks to her parents who did not hesitate, did not wait and took action.

walking. All thanks to her parents who did not hesitate, did not wait and took action. Do you have a several-month-old baby, you do not like his development and the doctor keeps saying that it will catch up, you need to wait? Then follow in the footsteps of Amálka’s parents and don’t waste your precious time by signing up for our project Counselling Room for Children at Risk.

Our project is a form of residential early intervention. It is an approach or a way of dealing with the consequences of disability based on teamwork of specialists – physiotherapist, neurologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist and other specialists. The AXIS Foundation in cooperation with Malíček OZ, the AXIS Medical Rehabilitation Centre and the Ján Korc Foundation regularly organises the project Counselling Rooms for Children at Risk.

More info:

Clinical speech therapy in neurorehabilitation

Clinical speech therapy in neurorehabilitation

PaedDr.Adelaida Fábianová

guarantor of clinical speech therapy

Clinical speech therapy plays an important role in neurorehabilitation. A holistic approach is used to consistently diagnose and treat communication and speech disorders that may arise as a result of:

  • Neurological disorders or brain damage where a large group of patients includes NCMP- cerebral infarction, traumatic brain injury, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Sclerosis multiplex, ALS, waking coma and others.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders that significantly affect psychomotor development including communication skills and speech in children. Symptoms of impaired memory, comprehension, phonological discrimination of sounds and sounds, reading and writing skills, increased or decreased sensitivity, social and emotional aspects of communication are significant. These symptoms primarily accompany e.g. children with autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, DMO
  • Genetic disorders (Rett syndrome, Prader Willy syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome and many others)
  • Myofunctional disorders (improper pressure of the tongue on the teeth during swallowing, flexion of muscle groups…..)
  • Oncological diseases (brain tumors…)

A separate chapter are:

  • Eating disorders in the sense of disturbed food processing in the mouth (imperfect chewing, biting, food falling out of the mouth, refusal of food of a consistency other than fine puree or penetration or aspiration of food is a common symptom of several primary diseases. Starting from premature babies, children with unclear diagnosis, with psychomotor delay, after craniotraumas, sudden strokes…

In the rehabilitation centre we deal with patients without age limitation.

Particularly important is the speech therapy intervention in children at an early age. In this period, basic speech and language skills are developing, which have a significant impact on the child’s later communication and cognitive abilities. When working with children, the speech and language therapist focuses mainly on:

  1. Assessment of speech and language development: systematic assessment of speech and language development in young children. This assessment may include monitoring the development of phonology (speech sounds), vocabulary, grammar and the ability to communicate.
  2. Early intervention: early intervention effectively alleviates or eliminates problems before pathological patterns of speech, food intake become automatic.
  3. Feeding therapy: training in correct strategies during eating and drinking
  4. Development of phonological skills: the speech therapist helps children develop phonological skills, which are crucial for the correct recognition and production of speech sounds, which is important for the subsequent development of reading and writing.
  5. Family education: the speech and language therapist works with the child’s family to provide them with information and strategies to support speech and language development at home. Parents and other family members are key partners in the process of supporting the child’s communication skills.

The speech therapy team holds many certifications that qualify them to perform specific approaches. One of them is Orofacial and Intraoral Stimulation, the application of which eliminates pathological muscle tensions in the facial and articulatory areas while stimulating their proper movement.