Comparison the Effect of Simultaneous Sensory Stimulation and Current Occupational Therapy Approaches on Motor Development of the Infants with Down Syndrome

Hossein KARIMI, Sepideh NAZI, Firoozeh SAJEDI, Nazila AKBAR FAHIMI, Masoud KARIMLOO




Neuromuscular characteristics in Down syndrome result in generalized muscular hypotonia, developmental delays and sensory integration deficits. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of simultaneous sensory stimulations and current occupational therapy approaches on motor functions development of infants with Down syndrome.

Materials & Methods

Eighteen infants with Down syndrome, aged 6 -18 months, were evaluated in two groups: intervention group (simultaneous sensory stimulation and occupational therapy) and control group (occupational therapy alone). They attended the program 3 times a week for 6 months and each session lasted 45 minutes. Motor functions were assessed before, during, and after intervention in the two groups, using GMFM test.


Mean motor function increased in both groups according to the GMFM test (P = 0.000). Comparison of the changes showed that although the mean difference of this variable was higher in the intervention group, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.576).

Mean motor deficit reduced in both groups during the period of the study,which was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Comparison of the difference in mean motor deficit in the first and last evaluations showed that this difference was more in the intervention group but statistically insignificant (P = 0.617)


Early use of simultaneous sensory stimulations can improve the quality of motor skills in Down syndrome infants. It is suggested that it may be used as an early intervention in association with other methods in the rehabilitation of these patients. However, more studies in this regard are warranted.


Down syndrome, Motor development, Occupational therapy, Sensory stimulation.

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