Posts

Does Your Child Have Poor Body Awareness?

Body awareness relates to knowing where your body is in a defined space. It is also linked to our proprioceptive system (the input that body awarenesswe get from our joints and muscles). Children who have poor body awareness may have a difficult time in functioning at a certain age level due to the subsequent difficulty that they may have when learning new tasks.

Here are a few signs that signify poor body awareness in children:

  1. Prefer to be in small rooms as opposed to wide open spaces. They may also prefer confined spaces, such as forts, closets or being under blankets. Children with poor body awareness feel more secure in small spaces rather than open areas because they have a better idea of where they are in space.
  2. Do not like to be in the dark or do not like to close their eyes. In order to make up for the fact that he or she has poor body awareness, children may rely on what they see in order to know where they are. If he or she is in a dark room, they may not understand where they are in that defined space.
  3. Like big bear hugs. Due to their decreased processing of proprioceptive information, children may prefer to be squeezed tightly because it gives a lot of input to their joints and muscles.
  4. Have difficulty mimicking movements, such as hand games or licking lips. When someone else shows them something they want the child to imitate, a child with poor body awareness may not understand how to move their body in the same way because they have a harder time understanding where their body parts are and how much to move them.
  5. Has a hard time learning new gross motor activities, such as jumping jacks. Gross motor activities rely heavily on the input children get to their muscles and joints when jumping on the ground or climbing. Since children with poor body awareness have a difficult time processing that feeling to their body, learning these activities are more difficult for them. As a result, these children may need to look in the mirror to learn new gross motor tasks. This is because children have to see what they are doing in order to learn how to manipulate their body in that manner.
  6. They may seem clumsy. Children who trip over objects or their own feet do so because they don’t know where their body parts are.

These issues occur because children usually compensate by using their vision in order to know where they are. In order to improve body awareness, occupational therapy can help to improve their ability to process the feeling of movement to their joints and their muscles. In order to learn new tasks, compensatory strategies can be used in order to help them keep up with their peers, such as using visual cues to help them learn new activities or breaking down tasks to make them simpler until they have mastered those skills.

Overall, occupational therapy can help identify solutions for children in order to improve their body awareness so that they may be more coordinated, confident and safe when performing age-appropriate activities!

LOVE WHAT YOU READ?  CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOGS VIA EMAIL!

How To Teach Your Child Pre-Writing Skills | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In today’s Webisode, a pediatric occupational therapist explains strategies she uses to teach pre-writing skills.

Click here to check out our previous Webisode, suggesting games for fine motor practice to develop handwriting skills.

In this video you will learn:

  • How an occupational therapist uses shapes to teach a child beginning to advanced handwriting
  • At what age a child should master all shapes for writing

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics, to a worldwide audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn Ackerman. I’m standing here with Lindsay Miller, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Lindsay, can you explain to us, what are some exercises you can do with a child to help with pre-writing skills?

Lindsay: Sure. With some children who are too young to begin writing their letters, we work on practicing making particular shapes. These shapes include horizontal lines, vertical lines, circles, diagonal lines, crosses, Xs, squares, and triangles. So with younger kids, we would probably start off working with the simpler shapes, such as the horizontal and vertical lines, and also the circles.

Once they’ve mastered those, then we would move on to the more complex shapes, like the diagonal lines, the crosses, the Xs, the squares, and the triangles. We work on these shapes in particular, because these are the shapes that you generally use when you’re writing. So if children learn how to write their horizontal and vertical lines and their circles, then it helps them once they’ve begin to start writing their letters, because these are the shapes that we use for upper and lowercase letters. So generally, by age five a child should be able to make all of these shapes.

Robyn: Wow. That’s really great tips. Thank you so much, and thank you to our viewers. Remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at learnmore.me. That’s learnmore.me.