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Muscle Coordination, Muscle Tone, and Strength
"Heavy Work" therapeutic activities are used to increase muscle skills and are a sensory calming and self regulation activity!
What is "heavy work"? Any activity using muscles or joints such as: crawling, pushing, pulling, lifting, climbing and "crashing" therapeutic procedures and activities that provide input to receptors deep in the muscles and joints that release calming neurotransmitters.
Aerobic activities that include muscles and joints release Brain Derived Nerve Growth Factor which is like Miracle Grow to brain connections. Heavy work movement activities also release Serotonin in the brain, a natural calming neurotransmitter!
Just like using the fitness equipment or weights at a health club, the "just right" calm and focused feeling you get lasts around 2 hours after the workout. Children get this same "ahh this feels right" feeling by doing play activities that give them this input. By providing this type of regular input every 1-2 hours throughout their learning day it would be possible to feel "just right" throughout the waking hours.
Work with an occupational therapist to develop this type of "sensory diet" for your children. When in doubt, "move, move, move!"
Some Activities include:
*Jumping on a trampoline large and small
*Using a 3 or 5 lb medicine ball to play basketball or hold when jumping
*Crawling though tunnels
*Walking over a ball on hands, bouncing on a large ball
*Carrying, lifting, pushing, and weighted play
*Weighted vests, lap pads, neck wraps and blankets
*Vibration massagers, back massagers and neck massagers
Belly Time, Crawl & Creeping Milestones are VITAL!
Climbing and Crashing Movements
Hypotonia ( Low Muscle Tone) General Recommendations
Weighted Vests, Heavy Pressure, Compression Vests and Weighted Blankets
Activities for Young Child with Low Strength and Tone
HEMIPLEGIA and encouraging bilateral skills
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