Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Health and Sport Sciences

Degree Program

Exercise Physiology, MS

Committee Chair

Carter, Kathleen

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Wooten-Burnett, Stefanie

Committee Member

Wooten-Burnett, Stefanie

Committee Member

Terson de Paleville, Daniela

Committee Member

Vessels, Jill

Author's Keywords

Down syndrome; vestibular stimulation; balance


Children with Down Syndrome (DS) are delayed in motor development and coordination which contributes to poor balance. Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the utilization of vestibular stimulation exercises would influence balance in children with DS. Methods: Eighteen participants (13years ±4.923) completed the study. Group one consisted of 10 (6 male, 4 female) participants with DS and ranged in age from 5-14 years. Group two consisted of eight (4 male, 4 female) participants with DS and ranged in age from 15-20 years. Eight subtests of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP) were used for pre and post-testing focusing on bilateral coordination, balance, running speed and agility, upper limb coordination, and strength. The intervention, the vestibular stimulation exercises, consisted of 15 exercise stations performed 2 times per week for 6 weeks. A trained instructor accompanied each subject during participation to reduce risk of injury. Results: Results indicated that group one had significant improvements in upper limb coordination (P=0.013) and speed and agility (P=0.001). Group two showed significant improvements in balance (P=0.009), upper limb coordination (P=0.003), and speed and agility (P=0.002). Conclusion: An early intervention that utilizes vestibular stimulation exercises may improve balance in children with Down Syndrome.