Muscular Dystrophy


Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited condition that gradually worsens, causing muscle weakness and other symptoms. There are six different types of Muscular Dystrophy all varying in symptoms and severity, these types are categorised depending upon the age at which the symptoms become prominent.

An occupational therapist would be able to provide effective assessment and treatment for a child with Muscular Dystrophy, by first assessing the individual needs of the child, how this is impacting upon function both at home and in school.

Does your child have any of the following difficulties?


Muscular Dystrophy varies in severity and complexity depending upon each child. Each child will vary in the presenting symptoms however; the following symptoms are typical symptoms you would expect to see in a child with Muscular Dystrophy
  • Difficulty walking/late walker
  • Finds physical tasks such as climbing stairs hard
  • Have some form of learning difficulties
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor handwriting
  • Unable to do buttons up or fasten shoes
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty completing sport or physical education

How can these difficulties impact on function?


The impact of Muscular Dystrophy can have a dramatic effect on a child's ability to perform at home, in school and socially. An occupational therapist would be able to not only assess how these difficulties are impacting upon these areas but provide advice and treatment options aimed at increasing independence and happiness.

Home:
  • Fatigue and its impact upon completing homework/playing at home
  • Difficulty carrying food or drink
  • Difficulty getting dressed
  • Difficulty walking around the home
  • Difficulty using stairs
School:
  • Difficulty completing work in school
  • Learning difficulties
  • Poor handwriting
  • Slow at getting changed for P.E
Social/behavioural:
  • Extra support at school increases child's awareness of condition
  • Teasing or bullying

What exactly is Muscular Dystrophy?


Muscular Dystrophy is caused by a fault in the gene responsible for muscular structure and function. Muscular Dystrophy is hereditary meaning it is inherited from one or both of your parents. The inherited gene is either recessive or dominant, a dominant gene will always show its characteristics, whereas a recessive gene needs two of the same faulty gene to produce the associated symptoms.

Prevalence:


More than 70,000 children and adults in the U.K. have Muscular Dystrophy. Boys are most commonly affected, affecting around 1 in ever y 3,500 children

Occupational therapy treatment available for Muscular Dystrophy


An occupational therapist can be able to offer support for families, training and understand to teachers and others that work with your child, and effective assessments and treatments of the condition. Some of the benefits of what OT can provide are listed below:
  • Improved handwriting
  • Improved balance
  • Increased confidence
  • Specialised seating and other adaptive equipment
  • Increased independence
  • Wheelchair assessments

Summary


In summary Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited condition that gradually worsens, causing muscle weakness and other symptoms. An occupational therapist would be able to provide effective assessment and treatment for a child with Muscular Dystrophy, by first assessing the individual needs of the child, how this is impacting upon function both at home and in school. The use of Occupational Therapy for children with Muscular Dystrophy can improve their mental and physical health, improve function at home and in school and provide support and understand to parents and those that work alongside your child.

How to arrange to see a paediatric occupational therapist?


If your child has Muscular Dystrophy or you think that they may have some of the symptoms, our occupational therapists can help. Please email office@otforkids.co.uk or call us on 0330 223 0888 for a referral or to simply talk about the concerns you may have for your child.

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OT for Kids have been a great help in aiding my son Jake with coping with his dyspraxia both at home and in school. They came out to our house and completed the assessment at home.

The assessment and report proved beneficial in our discussions with Jake's school and we are very pleased with the outcome the report has helped us achieve.
Jackie, parent.
At our school, there are many children who have difficulty forming letters correctly, concentrate or perform well in P.E, which can impact greatly on their learning. With the support and OT Groups available from OT for Kids, these children have made great progress and are now at a level which is not so concerning. As a teacher and SENCO, I thoroughly enjoyed working (and learning) from the Occupational Therapist.
Emily, SENCO and Teacher.
As a case manager, I regularly deal with many private companies. I found OT for Kids to be highly professional, reliable and provide me with flexible appointments that suited both me and my clients. The OT completed a comprehensive assessment and report, which was not only clear, concise and an accurate reflection of the difficulties, but it was returned to me quickly.
John, Case Manager.
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