[blindkid] never stands still

Richard Holloway rholloway at gopbc.org
Thu Jun 10 18:18:58 UTC 2010


I think you're exactly right.


All kids have a real need to move. Sighted kids just have an easier  
time expressing that need comfortably. Get her in motion. Swimming is  
a great start. In the right level of water you can jump and spin and  
twist and you never fall and crash, so it feels very safe. As she  
continues to learn to really swim, that offers other sorts of  
movement. Gymnastics may be an option. Swinging worked great for  
Kendra, especially when she was a bit younger. Dance classes are  
great. We've always tried to redirect undesirable motion and offer  
lots of appropriate alternatives.

For us, the most powerful solution to excessive movement and general  
fidgety behavior has been a small trampoline. Our daughter jumps an  
incredible amount. Kendra will be 8 in the fall and we are on our 5th  
trampoline so far. I have also repaired and rebuilt several of these  
things along the way. We've tried three different brands and ordered  
numerous spare parts. She jumps through these things in 6 months to a  
year. Springs break. Elastic bands stretch and sometimes snap too.  
Metal frames tear from the springs' pull. One frame even folded and  
nearly snapped. These trampolines stay in the house and are not  
abused. They're generally intended for only a single jumper and rated  
up to around 100 lbs. Kendra weighs about 58 pounds so it is not that  
we are overloading them.

We're not too concerned about the cost of these trampolines or the  
need to replace them-- my point is that Kendra uses these things  
aggressively and often-- to the point of their destruction. Clearly  
she needs the motion. She may spend 20 or 30 minutes jumping on a  
"slow" day and an hour or two on a typical one. She may jump and do 30  
or 40 or 50 seat drops, literally in a row. She sings and tells  
stories as she jumps; it is amazing. (Listening to her go can be quite  
exhausting!) She knows where the trampoline is and she has learned  
over the years to go to it when she needs to. It helps her not direct  
so much energy to things like beating up her little brother!

Some kids also like the feeling of the joint compression from the  
jumping and also enjoy similar joint pressure on wrists or elbows. Ask  
an OT about joint compression before you do too much with it. Other  
things we've found useful: swinging her in a blanket between 2 people,  
wrapping her tightly "like a hot dog" in a blanket, gently squashing  
her and lots of things like that. Again, she likes the feeling of  
pressure. (Your milage may vary with the pressure idea-- personally I  
cannot stand that sensation!)


On Jun 10, 2010, at 12:42 PM, Marie wrote:

> I'm no expert on this but I'm wondering if she is filling a sensory  
> need by this constant motion. Does she stop moving when you are  
> talking with her or she is otherwise engaged? Perhaps providing her  
> with other ways to gain sensory input would help.
> Marie (mother of Jack born May 2005)
> See glimpses of life with my determined son who is developing in his  
> own way at his own time at http://allaccesspasstojack.blogspot.com
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kathy B <burgawicki at yahoo.com>
> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 04:18:43
> To: <BVI-Parents at yahoogroups.com>; <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: [blindkid] never stands still
> Hi All-
> My daughter (4), totally blind, has a real hard time holding still.   
> She is constantly in motion by fidgeting, wiggling, bouncing, etc.   
> She doesn't do a whole lot of rocking but she does need motion.  How  
> do I get her to stop.
> Please help!
> Oh, the swimming lessons are going great!
> Thanks,
> Kathy
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