DS 6 years clumsy and floppy...spatial awareness? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He doesn't really qualify as special needs anymore.  But DS is still having a hard time being aware of others and himself in relation to them physically. 

 

By that I mean he tends to bump into people.  At the store, he's all over the aisles.  People coming toward him zig zag back and forth to avoid running into him.  When the kids are dancing around the living room, he falls all over and tends to end up knocking someone over.

 

Are there any games that can help him become aware of the space around him and his relation to others physically?

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#2 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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Swimming is a good all-around exercise that integrates the entire body - arms, legs, trunk, head and neck as well as diaphragm and breathing -  to develop muscle tone, control and awareness. It's often suggested for children with low tone, muscle weakness and fatigue and poor co-ordination.

 

Some of the martial arts might help. If you can find a good, low key dojo where the emphasis is on personal skill development, rather than intense competition, that might be a good answer. 

 

 

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#3 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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This sounds like a really common gross motor skill deficiency.  We had this to some degree with our 4yo son so I'm (unfortunately! :) ) pretty familiar with all the suggested activities.  I just did a lot of general gross motor activities with him focusing on developing his asymmetrical bilateral integration which contributes to body awareness.  First making sure he could clap, then walk, then jump, then reach across his body, then skip, etc.  A blog I follow just posted an article this week with tips for developing gross motor skills so maybe that would be helpful?  The website with the blog also has a general discussion of gross motor development for young kids, so maybe that would help too?

 

I think just extra practice at home with some basic gross motor activities will really help.

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#4 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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These are excellent suggestions.  I'm looking forward to start practicing!

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#5 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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You might want to have him evaluated by an occupational or physical therapist. My son has motor planning issues (dyspraxia) and was really helped by occupational therapy.


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#6 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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I'm a pediatric PT and many of the above suggestions are great ideas. I would also add a gymnastics class. A good program will develop strength and improve coordination.

 

When you say that he no longer qualifies as special needs was he exited from some form of OT or PT? If no,t you may look into getting him evaluated by an OT and/or a PT. Specifically request a sensory evaluation.


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#7 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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I'm a pediatric PT, and many of the above suggestions are great ideas. I would also add a gymnastics class. A good program will develop strength and improve coordination.

 

When you say that he no longer qualifies as special needs was he exited from some form of OT or PT? If not, you may look into getting him evaluated by an OT and/or a PT. Specifically request a sensory evaluation. Good luck.


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#8 of 13 Old 05-11-2011, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's clumsy around people, not things so much.  He's excellent on his bike.  But when people are around, especially if he's not confident, he gets really floppy.  It's as if he can't relate to their space in relation to his own.

 

I like the idea of an evaluation.  I'm not familiar with a sensory evaluation, but I will look into it.

 

He used to be on the spectrum of autism.  Now he's pretty much a typical kid with a few challenges.  (We did the SonRise Program for three years, GF/CF diet, supplementation and metal detox).  So he doesn't fit the spectrum anymore.  Just a few things we're still working on.

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#9 of 13 Old 05-12-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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Ahh, when you said that he no longer qualified for special needs, I thought that meant he had either completed an assessment and treatment program with OT/PT or insurance coverage had maxed out and you no longer qualified. For sure, an evaluation is a good idea. You can try some of the suggestions in the mean time. 


 

 
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#10 of 13 Old 05-12-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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There are lots of spatial awareness games.  It's been awhile since i taught P.E., but one that comes to mind is this:

 

Play some type of music and ask the kids to walk around in a space that you define for them.  There has to be some boundaries.  They cannot touch one another or bump into one another, nor can they fall down.  Start slowly.  Move around in slow motion.  When you stop the music they have to freeze.  When they freeze you can tell them to freeze with a funny face, or freeze on one foot, ect.  You make it up as you go and change it up.  Gradually you increase the speed.  It gets harder and harder to move fast without bumping into one another.

 

I have been teaching dd how to push a little cart at the grocery store.  I do it while shopping, but you could just go and do it for fun.  Our Kroger has child size shopping carts, but you could buy one pretty cheap in a toy store.  I focus a lot on her speed (she goes too fast).  I help her understand why she should walk on the right side.  I especially teach her to stop and let others go first.  Now I tell her always let others go first.  Always stop before you hit someone.  She is getting pretty good at it.  She has gotten very good at following verbal commands.  i don't have to do as much physical directing.  If she can't handle it, if she isn't doing well following directions we put the little cart away.  Usually she will do well just with a reminder because she loves it so much.

 

For more:  Google spatial awareness games physical education (you could add in whatever grade he is in and you should find some good stuff that is age appropriate)


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#11 of 13 Old 05-12-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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I forgot to say, i second the rec for gymnastics.  Dd is in a class and I have watched with amazement hers and other children's coordination improve drastically.

 

Also, maybe he just likes how it feels to bump into someone and to fall down...a sensory seeking behavior??


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#12 of 13 Old 05-13-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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We found having a small climbing frame at home helped DD. She wasn't able to focus on climbing when we were at the park, she seemed to find the other children to much to deal with. Once she had had a bit of practice and increased her confidence at home she was better at approaching more complex equipment at the park.

 

As well as the freeze game mentioned above she like musical statues.

 

Hopscotch, ours is a set of foam mats so we also put them on the floor in other patterns and practice moving in different ways up the numbers.

 

Following along a rope laid on the floor in different ways.

 

We also have a wii with a balance board and wii fit which she likes now she is a bit older but my 4 year old can get quite frustrated with it. He can't do as well as he would like because his movements are not precise enough.

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#13 of 13 Old 05-13-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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It sounds like an evaluation with an OT that specializes in sensory integration therapy would be beneficial for him. If you google Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Sensory Integration therapy you will see tons of info. I would talk to your ped or local children's hospital to find a therapist who has experience with Sensory Integration. You want to make sure they have experience, preferably a specialist. It is not the same as regular OT. Good Luck. Also, a great book is the Out of Sync Child. Check it out.


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