Overcoming Obstacles - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Overcoming Obstacles

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WSVN -- When Meilani was born her mom had no reason to think anything was wrong.

Carrie Perdomo: "I had no complications throughout the pregnancy."

Meilani had down syndrome, a condition where the child is born with an extra set of chromosomes causing cognitive and physical delays.

Carrie Perdomo: "Slowly I noticed there was a delay in development."

She was told to get Meilani into therapy right away, but Carrie was skeptical.

Carrie Perdomo: "To be perfectly frank with you, I thought ridiculous a 3 week old baby to start therapy I mean what could you possibly do?"

But therapists at Palmetto General Hospital say early intervention is key.

Camilo Guzman: "Try to get them as early as we can, and provide all the support the families need and all the support that the kids need."

Babies born with down syndrome have very low muscle tone so one of the first things therapists work on is building strength.

Meilani is now 10 and her exercises still focus on strength and coordination. Camilo says by swinging on her belly, she overcomes her fear of motion and improves her posture.

Camilo Guzman: "We activate the muscles of the back."

Every day activities like buttoning a button or tying a shoelace can be difficult for someone with down syndrome, but as you can see Meilani has made great strides.

Camilo Guzman: "She learned to tie her shoelaces and that was a big deal."

Carrie has seen a lot of progress in the 10 years, her daughter has been coming to therapy but she says the most important part is practicing what they learn in therapy at home.

Carrie Perdomo: "Because it does take time and it takes work, but you know what, when you see the rewards it's just overwhelming."

Christine Cruz: "Meilani's therapists say the goal is for her and all kids with down syndrome to live a productive life with little or no assistance."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Rehab Center at Palmetto General Hospital2001 West 68th StreetHialeah, FL 33016Tel: (305) 823-5000www.tenethealth.com

National Down Syndrome Societywww.ndss.org

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