Starfish Therapies

May 16, 2012

Simple Tricks

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I have mentioned before that we use something called the Universal Exercise Unit.  It allows us to help kids to work on activating their muscles against a set amount of resistance so that they become better at turning the correct muscle on and off at the correct time without using a lot of compensations.  While doing exercises in here we have a few kids that have a hard time figuring out how to stabilize the rest of their body so that only one body part will move.  For example, if I have a kiddo lying on their back, and I want them to move one leg out to the side, often they will try to engage their whole upper body in this motion so that their head and shoulders ends up off to one side rather than in the middle.  Well, I decided to try a trick because me asking the kiddo to keep their head in the middle wasn’t working.  While I was at the AOTA conference I picked up some kid friendly resistance bands and tools from PediaTools (I am sure I will write a post about these great tools later).  Because they are soft and squishy and not too big, I stuck one under this kiddo’s head and told him that he had to keep his head on it’s ‘pedestal’ and not to let it fall off!  Well it worked.  He was able to keep his head and trunk in midline while isolating his leg movements.  We have tried this 2-3 times now and it has worked every time.  It hasn’t carried over yet if I don’t have something under his head but the reality is he needs lots of practice to learn how to turn on the correct muscles for moving and the correct muscles for stabilizing.  Sometimes all it takes are some simple tricks to help these kiddo’s teach their bodies and muscles!

What simple tricks have you found that work?

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