Abstract

OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to describe home and community functional performance in 5-year-old children with Down syndrome.

METHOD. In a cross-sectional study of 5-year-old children with Down syndrome in Norway (N = 43), functional performance was measured with the Norwegian translation of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). Additional descriptive information related to health, disabilities, and function was also gathered.

RESULTS. The children showed a wide range of functional performance. Performance of self-care activities appeared most delayed on activities that required fine motor skills. Children appeared less affected in basic functional mobility skills. Parents’ identified their main concerns as language functioning and, for the children not yet toilet trained, the management of bladder and bowel control in relation to starting school.

CONCLUSION. The results provide baseline information regarding typical levels of functional performance in children with Down syndrome at 5 years of age. However, the broad range of functional performance across children indicates a need for caution in generalizing the results to an individual child.

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