We know that Therapists are crucial to the development of our family members with Down syndrome. We work side by side to provide the best life possible! We would like to thank Devin Kress for his words. He has become more than a therapist to many of his clients. He's become family.
"I have worked as a physical therapist for twenty years. For the past fifteen years I have had the privilege and opportunity to work as a pediatric physical therapist. I had no idea how rewarding and life changing the past 15 years would be. I have been taught and blessed by so many children with disabilities and their families. As a parent of four children I know that I'm never supposed to pick favorites. That being said I have truly loved my interactions and experiences as a therapist for children and adults with Down Syndrome.
As a student I learned that individuals with Down Syndrome require physical therapy to address muscle weakness in their arms and legs as well as weakness in their trunk and core. I also read that they may need help reaching some of their gross motor milestones. I found early in my career that they may have hypermobility in their hips, knees, and ankles. They may require orthotics or other adaptive devices to improve overall function at home or school. Finally they might need extra motivation to stay physically active and encouragement with cardiovascular fitness. As my experience broadened however I started to discover the things that are most important about children and adults with Down Syndrome.
Individuals with Down Syndrome are without a doubt some of the most pure and kind hearted people I have ever been around. As I write this I can see countless huge smiles that are so freely given. I hear laughter that immediately improves my day. The many warm greetings I have received from my patients with Down Syndrome are priceless. The joy and excitement for life they exhibit is amazing. I have learned that they are just like me. They want to be successful in whatever is the most meaningful thing for them. They want to find love and acceptance from their peers and from others. They want to build true lasting friendships. The difference is those with Down Syndrome seek these things in such a pure way and without ulterior motives. In these ways and so many others those with Down Syndrome have been the best teacher and example to me.
I realize that there are many challenges and a wide range of cognitive and physically impairments associated with Down Syndrome. I understand that each family has unique issues that they deal with on a daily basis. I also know that your efforts are making difference. The influence for good that you and your children have on those around you is undeniable. I have felt it in my life and I'm grateful for my association with those with Down Syndrome."
Devan Kress, MPT