One mother contacted us recently describing how her child loves the close physical contact between parent and child that the Upsee allows, and it’s an important point.
Although it’s not a primary goal of the Upsee, creating new possibilities for sensory experiences may be another potential benefit for children worldwide.
Research is only beginning so there is no long-term clinical evidence for this yet, but there are a number of ways in which the Upsee could complement sensory therapies.
Of course, every child is different, so the Upsee should only be used as part of a therapy programme if their therapist deems it suitable.
But what potential benefits can we see?
The most obvious application for the Upsee in sensory therapies would be in exercises addressing proprioceptive processing.
The proprioceptive system interprets unconscious information from muscles and joints to give us an understanding of our body position, pressure and movement.
Introducing the Upsee to this part of the therapy could make current exercises easier, not to mention creating a whole new range of exercises that weren’t previously possible. Depending on the individual child and their programme, they may now have the opportunity to walk, dance or climb stairs, things that may not have been otherwise possible.
These new experiences may enhance the therapy programme and its long-term results. We have already heard parents describe progress in their child’s co-ordination, motor-planning, balance, posture, hand-eye coordination and social skills – all of which are among the key aims of most sensory therapy programmes.
Improved proprioception, because of its calming effect, can also help to regulate tactile disorders, so children who are tactile defensive (avoiding) or seeking (touching everything) can benefit from an increased range of experiences.
As well as proprioception processing, the Upsee may also contribute to other aspects of the sensory therapy programme, albeit less directly.
Simply by allowing a child to be upright or mobile, the Upsee immediately opens a new world of potential sensory experiences.
They can now reach a tap or water fountain to feel running water; they are at a better height to see colourful displays behind shop counters or windows; they might feel sand or grass in their toes; they could reach for toys and objects they have never had access to before; or maybe they can watch the lights on an elevator spring to life when they press its buttons.
The list really is endless.
If a venue improved its changing facilities, would you be more likely to visit it with your disabled child?