A series of early intervention tutorials from Firefly and Flying Start’s Nick Mant, PT
Part 1. Starting strong - 3 essential early positions
1.1: Back Lying (Supine)
1.2: Tummy Lying (Prone)
1.3: Side Lying
Part 2. Sitting pretty - transitioning from the early positions
2.1: Sitting and Side Sitting
2.2: Lying to Sitting
Part 3. Moving on - kneeling and crawling positions
3.1: Kneeling and 4-point kneeling
3.2: Transition sitting to 4-point kneeling
As mentioned in my previous blog children need to repeat movements many times before they are properly learnt.
Children with movement difficulties struggle to do this and may develop abnormal movement patterns in order for them to achieve different postures. We can help prevent this by teaching and repeating normal movement patterns. This can often relieve a lot of the frustration for children stuck in static positions who want a particular toy and can’t reach it, or who simply want to change position!
Transitions involve complex movements, varying positions throughout the body. A child needs to be able to move their arms freely, their shoulders over their hips differently, and legs independently of each other. No wonder it is hard for some movements to be completed! But if we are learning the static positions and improving with the transitional postures such as side sitting and side lying, as discussed in the previous blogs, half the battle is won.
Starting with your child sitting between your legs, focus their attention to one side.
Encourage them to reach to that side turning their body and shoulders.
Help them to move their legs into a side sitting position, which will help the body to turn and reach both arms toward the desired toy.
When both arms reach over, the trunk and pelvis will generally follow. If they don’t, give a little more help to move the legs. You can then fold up your leg (to act like the horseshoe in the Playpak) and support the child in the 4-point position.
Using the Playpak we have managed to go through many early positions to help the child learn skills needed to move and become more active. It is important to remember though, that I often work with children who will not develop in this way. We may progress no further than the lying postures or skip individual positions due to other factors. For example, high tone causing over-extension means we would avoid tummy time. Because I know how important the early development skills are, I will still work on as many as possible with the child even if I know they will not reach certain milestones. We can still work on the early supportive postures to create the best possible building blocks to give the child the best possible opportunities to succeed.
Nick talked us through Part 1 and Part 2 of his early intervention tutorials live over a series of webinars in March and April. The Part 3 Webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 May at 6pm. To join, please register here.
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