Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tough Guys DO Dance

.......And then, she asked: "Is he Crossing Midline?"

"Um, what's that?" I asked, and felt the red rising up my neck and into my cheeks.

"Does he reach across his body to pick up toys or to touch an item of interest?"

"Well, come to think of it.... No.  He's more likely to move himself closer to the toy than he is to reach across...."

And so began the journey.

What is so important about crossing midline anyway?  Well, in short- crossing the midline is an indicator of bilaterial coordination, meaning the “ability to use both sides of the body at the same time."  It is a prerequisite (of sorts) for climbing stairs, riding a bicycle, catching a ball.  Not to mention the development of cognitive skills like reading, writing and learning.  Laterilazation is important in the process, as is establishing side dominance.  And one of the biggest challenges for Owen has been bilateral integration- where both sides of the body working  simultaneously and independently in body-related, as well as mind-related actions.  You've all seen the kid on the playground that can't jump with his feet together (step one), couldn't do a jumping jack if his life depended on it (step two), let alone put toothpaste on a toothbrush (step three)?  That's Owen.  Love him for all of these quirks and more, because he makes me think outside the box!  For a more indepth look at crossing midline, there is a great article available here:  Establishing Dominance and Crossing Midline

So.  What do we do to help?  Lots of everyday things like playing games at the table that force the kids to reach across their bodies to pick things up.  And of course, we dance. Twenty minutes each night, as a matter of fact.  And sometimes, when you least expect something, it happens....

Crossing midline AND alternating sides, Gangnam Style!
The best Occupational Therapy is doing the things you like to do, regardless of how good you are at it, and doing it as often as you can.  So my challenge to you readers, is to turn up the music, and DANCE with your children.  Even if they are typically developing kids, and you are a typically developing parent, I guarantee that you will both benefit from the experience.  After all, as Maya Angelou said ~~

"Everything in the universe has a rhythym.  Everything dances."

I knew he was up to something, but it didn't know what....

I plan on writing a post on Thursday for the next little while to give you a glimpse inside our lives.  Thursday will henceforth be known as Therapy Thursday, and I hope that you will join me.  Post a blog, or tweet about it using the hashtag #TherapyThursday.  Feel free to post a link below in the comment section!  Remember that there are many different types of therapy- Occupational, Physical, Feeding, Speech Language and Behavioural to name a few.  I hope it will serve as yet another way to spread awareness of special needs!  If you have stopped by to visit today, please don't be afraid to say hi, or leave a comment below.

From the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

"Occupational therapy is the art and science of enabling engagement in everyday living, through occupation; of enabling people to perform the occupations that foster health and well-being; and of enabling a just and inclusive society so that all people may participate to their potential in the daily occupations of life (Townsend& Polatajko, 2007, p. 372)."

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