Playgroup Graduation

Today was the last day of playgroup.  We did the very simple task of rubber stamping.  While everyone was stamping away, the leaders took each child aside and put their handprints on their diploma!  I always love things with my kids’ hand prints on them.  It’s so great to look back at it years later.

Other than that it was a lot of free play, which was perfect because we were meeting Ms. Rebecca to go over some of the spacial activities that I had talked about in our last session.  We didn’t have tons of time to go over all the activities but she was able to get a better idea of what I was talking about.  She came prepared with literature for me to read about the vestibular and proprioceptive systems.  She brought information on both so that I could see the differences.  The vestibular has more to do with neurological issues that cause the spacial problems but since we’ve already done some of that testing and had it come back negative we don’t need to worry about that.  The reason she gave me the info is because both of these issues have to do with hypotonia.

So, the proprioceptive system is related to the sense of movement and position of our body parts.  Body awareness and stimulation sensors in our muscles, joints and skin are all a component of proprioception.  It’s believed that a sensory processing disorder of the proprioveptive sensory system may be present (did you get all that 😉 ) when there is:

  • poor body awareness
  • clumsy/ awkward movements
  • pushes or leans heavily against people
  • climbs excessively
  • bites, clenches/ grinds teeth
  • is physically rough with others

There’s no way to “fix” this, but Rebecca gave us a list of modifications that we can make to our routines that can help him cope.

Calming Proprioceptive activities:

  • joint compressions
  • stacking weighted items (canned foods)
  • pushing/ pulling weighted objects (filled basket or bag)
  • people sandwich (first pillow is the bottom bread, the child is the meat and then another pillow is the top bread)
  • parachute with a sheet
  • play catch (with stuffed animals)
  • animal walks
    -frog jumps (squat on floor then jump and land in the squat position)
    -horse (place blanket on back as the saddle and allow child to put an animal on his back to take for a ride)
    -bear (hands and feet on the floor, butt in the air)
    -dog (crawling on all fours)
    -snake (roll on the floor)
    -kangaroo (jumping from a stand position)
    -duck (squat on the floor and waddle)
  • make a burrito (wrap child tightly in a soft blanket)
  • slow back stroke (with firm pressure down back, while child is lying on tummy)
  • neutral warmth (snuggling in a blanket)
  • pushing or carrying heavy objects
  • hang from hands (monkey bars or parents’ hands)
  • pouring
  • weighted backpack
  • bear hugs!!!

There are so many more ideas that she gave us but these are some of the few that we’re going to be working on most frequent.  If you noticed, most if not all of these activities require some sort of pressure that is being applied to the child.  What that is doing is waking up the receptors to tell that there is going to be some physical activity taking place and that they need to be alert.  Without this stimulation there is a greater risk of injury to Jacob as he’s doing everyday tasks.

If we can get Jacob to stay physically active through his youth it will be much easier for him when he’s older.  He won’t necessarily have to have a big bear hug before a soccer game but he will be aware that his body needs some sort of “wake-up call”, and at that point he’ll be able to do that on his own.

We’ll keep you posted on this new outcome as we practice more and as he gets a bit older.  Both of those things will play a big role in his progress!

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Filed under Early Childhood Intervention, Jacob, Joseph

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