September 2013

From the Editor: Bridging the Gap

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For a parent, the only thing more frustrating than knowing something isn’t quite right with your young child is hearing that nothing can be done until the underlying cause of the symptoms is identified. Luckily, parents of children with hypotonia can be spared the latter frustration.

As we detail in this special publication, early intervention in children with hypotonia—sometimes as early as in the neonatal intensive care unit—is not only possible but strongly recommended by experts, even in the absence of an underlying diagnosis.

A combination of physical therapy and orthotic management can help toddlers with hypotonia overcome developmental delays in gross motor skills, sometimes to the point of surpassing the development of unaffected children. Clinicians have been seeing these types of positive outcomes in children with hypotonia for years, and now researchers are beginning to quantify and document the results.

But too many pediatric lower extremity practitioners lack a detailed understanding of hypotonia, its effect on gait, and the therapeutic options that are available. This special issue, packed with evidence-based information as well as personal success stories, will go a long way toward bridging that gap.

And that means more children with hypotonia, with or without underlying diagnoses, soon will be cruising, walking, running, and playing right along with their peers.

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