Friday, October 5, 2012

"Small" is a Relative Term

I mentioned the common trait for people with Ds to have small heads, but individuals with Ds are also commonly much smaller in stature, and have shorter limbs, than their typical peers.   In fact, children with Ds have their own growth charts that pediatricians follow.

But, not Anna!

She started off small, but today (at 4 yrs.) she is a very average-sized little girl.  She is in the 50th percentile on the typical growth charts and completely off the Ds growth charts.  Her arms and legs are also very much in proportion.

The only real physical characteristics about Anna that are "small", other than her head, are her chubby little hands and toes (feet are normal, toes are small).

Yes - I do sometimes wonder exactly how tall Anna would be if she didn't have Down syndrome! =)

And, Anna is no lightweight, either.  Not only is she normal height, but her weight is right up there.

Individuals with Down syndrome often have thyroid issues, slow metabolisms and weight we monitor Anna pretty closely.  She is a good eater, and always has been.  But, she has a belly on her!  I joke that to find clothes to fit her I need maternity wear for a 4-yr. old.  =)

Her belly is more of a result of low-muscle tone than anything.  Hypotonia is also another very common characteristic of individuals with Ds.  But, don't confuse low-tone with strength.  Anna is very strong - just not as coordinated.  It takes her a lot of "muscle planning" in order to learn and accomplish a physical task.

When she gets the ball rolling, though -- Look Out!

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