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Movement is the Key to Learning!
Movement Is Best For Calming and Learning
The key to finding the right movements for a particular child is to observe that child. Children's bodies will seek the stimulation that their brains are craving.
Often a therapist can help by "stepping up" the intensity of the input to facilitate appropriate registration.
Consider the input we give an infant. Typically, we bounce the baby up and down. Next, we may rock the baby back and forth and side to side. When done rhythmically this movement can calm the body for hours. Swinging from a single-point hanging swing, such as a hammock swing or platform swing, can calm a child for up to 6 hours! Up and down movement equipment such as pogo sticks, trampolines, large balls, hippity-hops and swings that bounce can also provide calming input. Similarly, equipment that rocks or swings or that goes back and forth are calming as well.
There are some children that look like they really need "calming down". They may appear to be literally going around in circles. Surprisingly, what they may need is to be "calmed up!" Their bodies are seeking rotational movement, which is extremely stimulating. Their systems may be so low that they need vestibular stimulation to participate or focus. On a precautionary note, some children with sensory processing issues will become physically ill if the input is not a match for their system, ( "stop" always means "stop!").
Those with significant neurological issues such as seizure disorder should always have medical clearance before using equipment. This is why having an Occupational Therapy evaluation is so important, to find out what exactly the child needs to match their Central Nervous System needs.
Movement is what helps the brain develop from infancy. Movement is stimulation that the brain craves. Have plenty of movement opportunities available for our children is ESSENTIAL to their BRAIN and BODY development.
Remember, kids in motion, aren't commotion!
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