Starfish Therapies

May 10, 2012

Prone Swing

Filed under: Developmental Milestones — Starfish Therapies @ 12:00 pm
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Ok, so I was stuck for an idea for a blog post so I asked one of our regular kiddos what his favorite activity was to do here.  After he listed all the apps he likes to play (as motivation) he said flying was his favorite activity.  By flying he means the prone swing.  When I asked him why he said its because he gets to go in an airplane and visit places like the North Pole, Saturn and New Jersey (very random I know but believe me, imagination is not limited in this kiddo).

We are fortunate to have a Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) that comes with slings for us to set up prone swinging but you can also use other types of swings to create this effect.  Swinging in prone is great for eliciting head, neck and trunk extension and can really help a kiddo to work on the endurance of these muscles.  We have used bubbles or other interactive toys to keep their eyes and head up as motivation.  One of the cool things that we have added is a bungee across the UEU that allows our kids to self propel themselves.  This can help with shoulder and shoulder blade muscle strengthening.  Its also fun to have the kids realize that they are the ones making themselves go.  When they start to do the self propelling its amazing because all of a sudden they can’t hold their head up.  Its a coordination challenge that they can’t focus on both at the same time.  With lots of cuing and motivation they are eventually able to both self propel and hold their heads up.  The more fun they have flying the longer they want to do it and it is a tiring exercise that really works on their endurance while providing vestibular input.  If you put a table or hard support surface underneath them you can have them weight bear through their arms and propel themselves by pushing off the table also.

You can also use a platform swing with kids in the prone position to work on some of the same things.  With the sturdy surface underneath them they can also work on weight bearing through extended arms or through bent arms.  If you want to switch it up you can swing the platform side to side and encourage weight shifting through their shoulders and arms.

The lycra swing also works for the prone position and you can hold the kids hands while swinging them forward and backwards and they have to hold their head up so they don’t topple forward!

Basically we love swings and we love the prone position!  What other ways do you use the prone swing?


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