The Transition from Dependency to Autonomy of Children with Down Syndrome through Development of Motor Skills in Gymnastic Exercises
Motor abilities development in persons with Down syndrome is challenging but essential issue to their autonomous activity. Of motor skills, coordinating capabilities are key elements, necessary and mandatory for daily activities. Coordinating capacity is a complex a plurality of psychomotor skills inevitably present in the actions of everyday life. The paper describe the results obtained in developing autonomous abilities, targeting most the coordinating capacity, through activities held in Targoviste in the frame of the project "Development of motor skills in people with Down syndrome - essential step to an independent life". The project was coordinated by Special Olympics Romania Foundation. The research objectives were to investigate the contribution of gymnastics programs to the development of coordinating capacity and autonomy of children with Down syndrome, and to assess the parent`s satisfaction with the children`s progress in obtaining more independency in daily routine. The research hypothesis was: if children with Down syndrome participate in periodic and regular gym activities, they will have a greater degree of autonomy in their daily activities. The results of gym programs confirmed the hypothesis. The regular and continuously gymnastics program had strengthening the Down syndrome children skills and their execution. Children were not only having better coordinating skills, but also they were using motor skills with precision, courage and, most important, independently in their daily activities. Also, the parents daily reports on children`s autonomy skills and activities showed improvements of children`s independent life and of their own.
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