Motor Dysfunction

Hypotonia in newborns and infants with maternal dup15q is associated with feeding difficulties and gross motor delays. Motor milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, and walking are significantly delayed.

Suggested Evaluations

Physicians may order the following evaluations to help better diagnose and treat the individual.

Orthopedics / physical medicine & rehab / Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy evaluation for assessment of:

  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Fine Motor skills
  • Mobility
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Need for Adaptive Devices


Treatment Considerations:

Gross motor dysfunction. Physical therapy is recommended to maximize mobility.

Most affected children develop the ability to walk independently after age 2 or 3. Individuals typically have a wide-based or uncoordinated (ataxic) pattern of walking with a slow pace and poor postural control.

Fine motor dysfunction. Occupational therapy is recommended for difficulty with fine motor skills that affect adaptive function such as feeding, grooming, dressing, and writing.

Nonfunctional use of objects with an immature type of exploration has been reported in the scientific literature.  Delays and persistent impairment in both fine and gross motor skills affect adaptive living skills and distinguish children with dup15q syndrome from children with nonsyndromic autism spectrum disorder.

Physiotherapy is important to improve muscle tone and prevent contractures. Physiotherapy aims to improve posture, and coordination and strengthen the muscles around the joints of the limbs to provide more stability and support.

Orthopedics: Many parents report the use of orthotics that range from shoe inserts to knee-high braces and be used to assist children with flat feet, toe walking, weakness, poor balance, frequent tripping, and other conditions.

Parents also report the use of ambulatory assistive devices such as walkers and gait trainers to help with walking or standing.