Q&A: 10 Month Old Hypertonic Baby

Tamara GuoChild Development, Infants 3 - 12 Months, Special Needs Diagnoses

blockquote_bgI am a mother of a 10 month old baby boy who has stiffness or hypertonicity in his ankles that keeps his leg claw shaped.  By 10 months he should be showing independent sitting and crawling but my baby is not doing so.  He was able to roll on tummy before and is not even doing that for the last two to three months.
His doctor suggested physio exercises.  We are doing those and we have started him in a course of physio therapy under a trained pediatric physiotherapist. But we are a little concerned regarding the status. Our baby had seizures three days after his birth and was hospitalized for 15 days in NICU but once out of NICU, he has not had seizures, but developmental delays concerns me.

I can tell you are concerned about the motor development of your 10 month old son. By ten months old a baby usually can hold his/her head up well, push up on arms when on belly, roll, sit independently and creep/crawl to get around, among other skills. You can read more about hypertonia in infants here.

It’s great that you have started having your son see a pediatric physiotherapist for therapy.  I would recommend that you talk to your physiotherapist about your concerns about your son’s delays. Your therapist should be able to help you understand what is causing the delays and teach you ways to help your son.

I would also suggest further medical evaluation if that has not already been done. In the city where I work the major pediatric hospital has different clinics for different neurological problems where babies and children are evaluated by a team of pediatric medical specialists including a pediatric, pediatric neurologist, pediatric orthopedist, pediatric physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech language therapist. The medical specialists determine which evaluations a child might need, these are done and then the group meets as a team to make recommendations for each child. The team looks at all areas of development including motor and cognitive development. I don’t know if you have such a place where you live but the families I work with have found a comprehensive evaluation such as this useful in helping to plan treatment to help their children.

My last suggestion would be to go on the web and look up the NDT Association and see if any therapists who  are trained in NDT (Neurodevelopmental therapy) where you live – if there is one you may want to contact them or you may be able to contact the NDT organization with questions.