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Brain & Gym Exercises for Toddlers With Hypotonia

By Timothy Onkst

Hypotonia is a lack of muscle tone. According to Children's Hospital Boston, hypotonia can leave children with motor problems. Jaw and neck dislocations can also result; children with this condition frequently experience challenges with eating, breathing and speaking. Hypotonia is treated with a variety of physical therapy exercises, occupational therapy exercises and sensory stimulation activities.

Heel Walking

Heel walking is designed to increase the strength of the smaller muscles in the lower leg, which helps the child gain more control when walking. Start by having the child stand straight; instead of standing normally, allow only the heels to touch the floor. The toes should point up in the air as much as possible. Start with a minute of walking and gradually help the child build to 15 minutes of heel walking two to three times per week.

Sports Activities

According to Baby Center, simply getting children involved in exercise is one of the most common treatments recommended by doctors. Any activity, sport or exercise that your individual child enjoys should be indulged. Swimming and gymnastics especially provide many strength-building benefits.

Sensory Stimulation Activities

According to the Children's Hospital Boston, sensory stimulation activities are used to help treat hypotonia. These activities are designed to stimulate the senses of touch, smell, hearing and sight. The Richie McFarland Children's Center suggests allowing toddlers to feel different textures and play with toys that make sounds. Allow the child to crawl or play in different places like sand, grass and water.

Occupational and Speech Therapy Activities

According to the Greater Atlanta Speech & Language Clinic, speech therapy and occupational therapies that focus on cognitive skills are used to treat hypotonia. These activities can include occupational exercises like hand-eye and cognitive skills. Hand-eye coordination games and even puzzles are used to improve learning performance and concentration. Speech therapies are designed to improve communication and hearing; they focus on understanding sounds, syllables and patterns, according to Greater Atlanta Speech.

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