Often kids are labeled by loved ones, and family members as being hyper, ADHD, clumsy, and “out of control”. But there may be an underlying issue that can be corrected through OT, and play therapy. If any of the below items seem familiar speak to an OT or contact Whole Kids Therapy for more info.
Sensory Seeking Vestibular Sensations:
• Loves amusement park rides
• Described as hyperactive – always running, jumping, and hopping
• Engages in rocking or rhythmic movements
• Trouble sitting still or staying seated
• May vigorously shake head or rock rhythmically
• Crave intense movement including jumping, upside-down positions
• Enjoy swinging very high
• Loves seesaws, teeter totters or trampolines more than other children
• Can’t seem to sit still
• Likes spinning in circles
By Moira Sullivan- Activities involving movement in different directions build vestibular sensory processing. The vestibular system is that which gives us our sense of balance. It works closely with vision and proprioception (body position) to let us know where we are and to promote smooth, coordinated movements. Here are some favorite activities which build vestibular skills:
- Swing on swings.
- Ride merry-go-rounds.
- Go through tunnels or under/through blankets draped over furniture.
- Swing in a blanket.
- Play ring-around-the-rosy.
- Play flashlight tag with lights shining onto ceilings and walls. By tilting your head and neck back, the semicircular canals in the inner ear will be activated, increasing vestibular input.
At the playground or on the school yard, children are often seeing doing these very activities. They instinctively know moving in this way is good for their minds and bodies. In addition, they build stronger bones and muscles, maintain a healthy weight, learn cooperation and social interaction skills, and how to solve problems as they arise.
They are becoming resilient, an important part of developing a happy, successful adult.