Muscular dystrophy has no known cure yet but, this does not mean that children who have this genetic condition cannot get to enjoy daily activities normal children do. This is a disorder that develops early in childhood and you need to keep the child active to avoid muscle fibers from getting permanently damaged.
Keeping your child active helps them strengthen their muscles and this slows down its progression while alleviating the discomfort caused by the disease. You can further help your child deal with muscular dystrophy by seeking professional help from centers that offer muscular dystrophy therapy in Toronto. This article will help you identify ways that you can help your child with muscular dystrophy to participate more in daily activities.
Be keen to watch out for facial expressions
Children naturally learn to do a lot in the first three years of their lives. As a parent, you should actively get involved in your child’s development. A child with muscular dystrophy is no exception either and that is why it is important to start encouraging them at an early age on how to get involved in daily activities like taking a bath and dressing themselves.
Children suffering from muscular dystrophy will have a harder time in learning how to do the simple things but your role as a parent is to encourage their efforts so that they don’t get discouraged easily. Learn to communicate with your child early enough by watching their facial expressions and interpreting sounds and body language.
For example, children turn their heads when they are pointing to objects and they tend to turn their heads when they mean ‘no’. Do not ignore any sound your child makes because this means they are trying to communicate something. Showing interest to your child encourages them to participate more in daily activities.
Respond to your child as he communicates
It takes time, even for a parent to fully understand what a child is trying to communicate and requires patience. You should act confidently when you understand what your child is asking for and try as much as possible to respond to all their noises and actions. When communicating with your child, you should always place yourself on a face to face level.
You can try to imitate the sounds that your child is making and by copying any words they utter. You should not use long sentences when talking to your child and try to keep them simple so that they can follow. You can make communication fun for your child by using bright and noisy toys to attract the child’s attention.
Encourage your child to move more
You will need to carry your child around more but ensure that you give them room to move on their own. You can do this by holding them but leaving their arms and legs free so that they can strengthen their limb muscles. Offer balance in a way that allows them to look around. Place objects at a distance and encourage them to try to reach for these items as you offer your support. You can also encourage your child to stand more by supporting them with a frame.
Change lying and sitting positions to build muscle strength
Allowing a child to lie on their side gives them room to use their hands and feet more while lying on the stomach strengthens the neck, back and arm muscles. You can stretch their legs muscles by sitting them on the floor with their legs straight. You can sit your child on a chair to develop their upper body strength. Ensure that their feet are firmly placed on the floor or a footrest.