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Signs of Duchenne

Listed below are the common signs of Duchenne. If a boy has a combination of these traits, he should be tested for Duchenne:

  • Gower ManeuverHas a hard time lifting his head or has a weak neck
  • Is not walking by 15 months
  • Has a hard time walking, running, or climbing stairs
  • Is not speaking as well as other kids his age
  • Needs help getting up from the floor or walks his hands up his legs in order to stand (see Gower Maneuver, right)
  • Has calves that look bigger than normal (pseudohypertophy)
  • Walks with his legs apart
  • Walks on his toes and waddles
  • Walks with his chest pointed out (or has a sway back, saddle back, or hollow back)

Talking to your child's doctor

Parents are usually the first to recognize that their child’s walking/crawling/running "isn’t quite right" or is "not quite the same as their first child/friend’s child." Often parents bring these concerns to the attention of their child's doctor, only to find that the doctor is not overly concerned.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that parents are the best people to listen to when it comes to developmental concerns. In order to address these concerns, the AAP has developed a tool, with input from Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, to help parents determine whether they should be concerned at this time and how to follow up on their child’s progress. Please use this tool if you are concerned about your child's physical developmental delays.

Learn more about How Duchenne is Identified, or view our page on the Stages of Duchenne for information about its progression.

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