Monday, June 15, 2009

Leg kicks to strengthen legs and motor planning

Here is a picture of me doing leg kicks. I am grasping the vaulting handles, moving my head forward to one side of the mane and lifting up my legs to kick them together.

Some higher functioning children might be able to do this to strengthen their legs and it would also work on motor planning since it takes good planning to time the kick right after my head goes down.

Today I had nice success with my princess wand toy that has a light that flashes at the top and vibrates. I cut orange and yellow rings out of laundry bottles and have the kids put the rings over the wand. These rings are a bit flimsy, so I ended up holding the wand while they used both hands to bring the rings over the top. One little boy with autism was particularly excited to do this, he was willing to do this activity while facing sideways and backwards (not his favorite positions). He also tolerated kneeling while I counted to ten with trot rewards afterward.

Here is a photo of the princess wand that I took while holding the laundry bottle ring. The "rings" aren't exactly round, more rectangular, but they pretty much take two hands to manipulate which is a good thing.

I attached them to the walls with velcro since some of the kids could pull the reins when they saw one. Then I would retrieved it from the wall to use in the activity.

Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L author of, The Recycling Occupational Therapist

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