The Skills for Action Blog

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Everyday, in my work with infants and young children I encounter challenges and each time I ask myself one important question. .

Am I providing this infant/child and family the very best possible physiotherapy intervention and support?

This blog is about my search for answers to this question. 

  • Parents of children with DCD often report that their child tends to bump into door frames and furniture and trip over very low obstacles on the floor.  Walking across a room and through a doorway requires attention to what lies ahead and planning the walking path to avoid obstacles. 

  • tripping and falling

    Children who trip and fall a lot  have often not yet mastered one or more of the following abilities needed for good dynamic balance: ability to look ahead and anticipate obstacles, the ability to react quickly to situations that throw one off balance, as well as the muscle strength needed to support the body when there are rapid changes in speed or direction of movement. 

  • In these activities the child practices holding  a bat horizontal while balancing one or more beanbags, a plastic bottle or a ball  on the head of the bat. Moving the hand in different directions while holding the head of the bat horizontal  creates several different challenges. 

  • A good way to improve a young child's fitness is to create repeated opportunities for short bouts of all-out exercise. Jumping activities are a good way to do this in a small space, and will quickly get the heart racing and increase the breathing rate.

    Here are  some ideas for jumping games that can be graded to make them progressively more difficult.

  • The last few weeks my 8-year-old granddaughter has been practicing standing on her hands with a great deal of persistence and many, many,many repetitions,  Yesterday, for the first time she managed to get both her legs up to perform a perfect handstand. This seems to have been a balance and coordination breakthrough because she also developed the courage and trust in her own abilities to swing her legs up a little harder to stand against the wall and stay standing on her hands for 30 seconds. 

  • In my work with fearful children who have movement difficulties I am always amazed at how quickly and easily a child can be shifted from fearfulness to courage in the face of physical challenges. As one 6-year-old put it  "I have leant to face my fears".