Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Health and Leisure Studies

First Advisor

Ursula Barrett

Second Advisor

Gerard O'Carroll


Young children with Down syndrome face developmental delay in walking compared to a typically developing child. This delay in upright exploration can in turn affect other areas of development such as cognitive, social, self- help and emotional development. Acquisition of particular motor milestones is therefore vital. UPSEE is a new mobility device designed to help children with movement delays to stand and move with the help of an adult. This research investigated the use of UPSEE and measured children’s progress covering areas such as cognitive, social and physical development. Moreover, active parental, siblings and peer group involvement during the UPSEE programme has also been evaluated. Selection criteria included children with Down syndrome between 11 months and 5 years who were at the time of the study able to stand with some support. The research programme involved sixteen participants, ten in the intervention group and six in the control group. Conventional treatment was given to the control group and the intervention group received the UPSEE programme along with conventional treatment. Exercise in UPSEE was assigned for 40 minutes, 5 times a week for 4 months. All children were assessed using the ‘Bayley scale of infant motor development IIP pre and post-intervention. The parents’ perspectives while using UPSEE have been evaluated using questionnaires. Results of the study show that the use of UPSEE by the intervention group resulted in significant improvements in cognitive (P< .0005), social (P= .001) and physical (P, .0005) development when compared to eontrol group participants. The study also outlined safety guidelines for the use of the UPSEE in this population. Additional longitudinal research to know the long term benefits of UPSEE mediated intervention is needed but the current results suggest that UPSEE should be considered as an early intervention treatment option for children with Down syndrome.

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