Early Phase (Diagnosis to 7 Yrs)
This stage is characterized by delayed milestones, weakness, and inability to participate in sports equally with other children. A child with Duchennes muscular dystrophy may get tired easily. They may also find it difficult to climb, jump and run.
As a parent or a teacher, you need to support and motivate the child at this age. The child is at his maximum functional level at this stage. Help the child experience different sports, places etc. when he still can. Even if he is not able to play as well as other children, help him enjoy participating. This is also a time when you can teach him swimming and other water sports. Take the child to different places and on lots of holidays. In all this, make each day special, and celebrate it. Take loads of pictures and keep them safely. This is a very special part of your child’s life and these memories will always be special to him.
Right from the beginning, expose the child to literacy and reading. These are hobbies that can continue throughout life. In addition, introduce other interests and hobbies like art, collections, simple construction etc.
In the classroom, look out for teasing among the children. Help the other children in the class understand that this child is special and they need to accept him as he is. Help the child see what he is good at. Help him to be independent as much as possible.