Most pediatric therapists utilize movable surfaces in their pediatric practice, whether they work in the home, school, clinic or hospital setting. The purpose of doing so is to provide the child with postural input that allows them to develop the ready muscle state and balance responses needed to perform daily functional activities.
There are many options available, but the most common include therapy balls, bolsters, swings, scooter boards and rocker boards. These various options provide the therapist with excellent tools to challenge the child in a controlled but challenging environment to promote core strength and the ability to adapt to the forces of gravity while performing functional tasks in a variety of postures.
Learning to use these surfaces effectively is challenging in itself for the pediatric clinician. Managing your own movements, the child, and the surface they are on can be quite complicated unless you have a well thought out plan and have mastered the art and skill of managing the moveable surface and the child on it. There are ways to passively use the equipment as well as very effective and dynamic ways to challenge the child’s postural control while they are on the equipment. This article will focus on use of therapy balls.
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Contact me to set up a training course at your facility. © Kristen Birkmeier, MSPT