core strength, sensory, hyperactivity

The real reason your students can’t sit still…Poor Core Strength!

Poor core strength is often the reason kids can’t sit still…

“Do you mind taking a look at one of my students?  He just can’t seem to stay in his chair…”

As a school based Occupational Therapist, I hear this question at least twice a week.

For the most part, kids are expected to sit at their desks in the classroom. There are times when the class breaks up into groups and move around to sit on the floor, etc., but for the rest of the day, they are supposed to sit in their seat.

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5 Tips For Teaching Yoga To Children With Special Needs

Yoga is an exercise that incorporates balance, breathing, and coordination into smooth movements or poses that “flow”.  Teaching yoga to children with special needs is tricky.

 But there are definitely some amazing tricks to get the job done.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience)

As an elementary school based OT, I often push into work with whole special education classes. While every child is unique, the majority of the children need help with strength, fine motor skills, motor planning, coordination, and balance.  Almost all of them struggle with following directions and staying focused.  Sound familiar?

That’s why Yoga is my go-to activity for kids with special needs. It works on everything for everyone.

Research shows that teaching yoga to children can help improve behavior, attention, focus, and social skills. Physically, it can increase a child’s strength, coordination, bilateral integration, and even fine motor skills.   Yoga has TONS of therapeutic benefits for kids.  To learn more about WHY to teach yoga to kids, check out this post I wrote for MamaOT, called “The Therapeutic Benefits of Yoga for Children”.

teaching yoga to children

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5 Creative Core Strength Activities

 

Need ideas to help your child get strong? Here are five creative core strength activities using the Core Strength Handbook!

Core Strength Actvities

Does Your Child Have Weak Core Strength?

Does your child slump and slouch all the time?

Do they have difficulty with balance?

Is their “helping hand” holding their body up, rather than hold their paper steady?

Do they always lean on a chair, the couch, or other furniture when sitting on the floor?

Are they struggling to participate in exercise due to poor endurance?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your child may have weak core strength.

*This post contains affiliate links

I’ve been on a CORE STRENGTHENING kick lately.  Poor Core Strength is often an underlying cause of many other deficits a child may be demonstrating. Plus, it counts as “heavy work”, because it provides proprioceptive input – so it’s great for my sensory kiddos too!

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positioning in the classroom

The Crucial Importance of Positioning in the Classroom

School Day Functions – Positioning in the classroom

Positioning in the classroom is a HUGE part of student success.  In fact, “properly fitted furniture is essential if children are to learn handwriting efficiently” (Henderson &  Pehoski, 1995).

One of my biggest pet peeves about working in the school system is the gosh darn furniture.   Children are often seated in furniture that is just not the right size for them, and it totally stinks.

On top of that, many teachers have never been trained to check if a child’s desk or chair is the right size.   For the ones who do check, what are the chances that the school has other furniture available?   Sigh.  Rant Over.

The point is – what adult would tolerate working all day at a desk that was way too high? Companies spend a fortune supplying their workers with wrist supports to avoid carpal tunnel injuries and screen guards to protect employees vision.  Shouldn’t we make sure our students are in the proper position, too? Continue reading

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