A Baby with Down Syndrome Discovers Movement in the Otteroo

Katie Koivula spends hours on the internet searching for ways to help her son develop.

Brigston is 18 months old and has Down syndrome. When she saw another parent post a video of their child in the Otteroo floatie in an online Down syndrome support group, she decided to buy it despite her initial hesitation.

Katie tells us what she (and Brigston) think of the Otteroo.

Why did you decide to buy the Otteroo?

At that stage in his life (about a year old), he really didn’t use his hands very much. It took a lot to just do a simple thing, like bringing his hand up to grab a toy. I just thought ‘how neat,’ to see if he could float, kick his legs, experience buoyancy, and move his hands more.

Katie put Brigston in the Otteroo, and she says, “He just loved it.”

Here’s the video of him shaking his groove thing. (It’s had more than 5,000 views on Katie’s Instagram account!)

A post shared by Katie Lynn (@katie622) on

What was your reaction to Brigston’s experience in the Otteroo?

He can move his arms and legs more freely. It wasn’t as much work for him. I just thought it was really, really neat… I think for all kids, but especially for special needs kids.

Do you recommend the Otteroo to other parents?

I’ve told a bunch of people about it. I’ve had friends who also have kids with special needs who’ve bought it, as well. We’re all looking for something. We’re on the (special needs discussion) boards. We’re searching for anything that can help make our kids’ lives better. We’re willing to try anything.

Julie Forbes

Julie Forbes

Julie Kroenig Forbes graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She spent the next 10 years working as a news anchor and reporter in various cities, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee. She now lives in Northern California with her husband and four kids.
Julie Forbes