NWR My Ring bearer has Hypotonia
May 22, 2009

In need of help please, Calling all nurses, doctors, and med students!

Today my nephew/ring bearer was diagnosed with hypotonia or low muscle tone. My sister and I are having trouble finding out what exactly it is, what treatment is out there, what to expect, and this part is a little hard to word, please forgive me if its not worded correctly.. how to push him to do his best without pushing him too hard (he's in soccer and swimming is that too much? Does he need more activities? Things of that nature.) The information she received is not enough. I saw that some brides to be on here are in med school or are doctors or nurses.. I would love to hear what you know about hypotonia (I have been unsuccessful in finding anything in my anatomy and physiology book...). Thank you in advance.

The pictures are of my nephew from a couple years ago, he is now 6, I believe he was about 3 possible in these pictures.
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Brennen (16)
Nicole and Brennen (2)
futuremrsweikle's Pink wedding
Newnan, GA, USA
I am so sorry! I wish I knew something about hypotonia. Keep us updated on him!
amcs76's Green wedding
Toronto, ON, Canada
I'm not a med student, doctor or nurse, but I found some info online that might be helpful.


"Treatment begins with a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an assessment of motor and sensory skills, balance and coordination, mental status, reflexes, and functioning of the nerves.  Diagnostic tests such as a CT scan of the brain, an EMG to evaluate nerve and muscle function, or an EEG to measure electrical activity in the brain may also be necessary.  Once a diagnosis has been made, the underlying condition is treated first, followed by symptomatic and supportive therapy for the hypotonia.  Physical therapy can improve fine motor control and overall body strength.  Occupational and speech-language therapy can help breathing, speech, and swallowing difficulties.  Therapy for infants and young children may also include sensory stimulation programs. "

Also, something else that might be interesting. My FH's cousin's son has cerebral palsy, and he attends Ability Camp, which is a treatment center in Ontario that does Conductive Education Therapy. The therapy helps children improve sitting, standing, walking, and building up their muscles, etc. They don't just offer treatment for cerebral palsy but other medical issues as well. Check out their website, it might be helpful:

nocturnius's White wedding
Orlando, FL, USA
Well, I'm not a doctor yet, but I am a medical student.

I looked in my own books and also shot a quick e-mail to a few of my professors to see what they said... here's what I've compiled between the two.

First, there are different types of hypotonia and they are treated differently... did the diagnosis specify what kind it was? There is benign congenital hypotonia, which is a condition on its own. But it can also be indicative of an illness with progressive muscle loss; some diseases where hypotonia is a symptom as opposed to the condition are muscle dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Marfan syndrome, and Tay-Sachs disease.

As for treatment, it's really very specific to the child's needs. If it is benign congenital, there is no specific treatment for the condition itself. However, there may be treatments needed for things that occur often with hypotonia, like joint dislocation (which occurs because the lack of muscle tone leads to a lack of protection of these joints, leaving them prone to injury.) You can work to prevent THESE occurences by sticking to low-impact sports (like swimming) and advocating safety in all physical activitys (pads, Ace wraps/braces for support.)

If it is due to a specific disease, the treatment will lie in treating that disease... which is something only your nephew's doctor should discuss.

In both instances, they may also recommend supplemental physical therapy. These sessions will use specific exercises targeted toward strengthening the muscles where they will be most beneficial to your nephew, and the therapist will be able to evaluate and decide what exercises are best. Often times they will help you learn these exercises so they can be performed at home. But for your nephew's safety, do NOT try to self-evaluate and decide what exercises are best for him. Talk it out with a doctor and always get a second (or third) opinion.
gorgeous6's Pink wedding
Houston, TX, USA
I am in nutrition and dont know much about this condition. I am sorry I cannot provide you with info, but I found a website support for mothers and loved ones of children that may can answer your questions:

I hope this helps sweetie.
's  wedding
Chicago, IL, USA
I think you need more information from the people who gave you the diagnosis about what to do next.  My daugher was diagnosed with mild hypotonia when she was 4 - basically, she was having trouble with fine motor skills, and did occupational therapy 1x/week for about 6 months.  Now, she's officially "caught up" but we're still encouraged to do certain activities that strengthen her trunk and arms -- she probably won't be a pull-up champion, but I think she'll be able to do most anything she wants to do.  I know that there are various levels and causes of hypotonia, which is why you definitely need more information from your healthcare provider. If they're not giving you the answers you need, a pediatric therapist or a pediatric therapy center would be able to give you a more detailed screening and action plan. I hope this helps!

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