[blindkid] never stands still

Carol Castellano blindchildren at verizon.net
Mon Jun 14 14:00:50 UTC 2010


I remember teaching Serena to run--loved seeing 
that smile on her face.  We have a gentle hill in 
our front yard.  She stood behind me and I had 
her hold on to the bottom of my unzipped jacket 
(so it could go a foot or so beyond my 
body).  Then I ran (slowly) down the little hill 
and she followed.  It seemed to get the feeling 
of forward motion into her.  It wasn't long 
before she wanted to do it by herself.  She 
tended to move in more of an up-and-down motion 
than a forward motion, so I would cue her with "think forwards."

Now we run together along the shore when we are 
at the beach.  We use the technique of gently touching our forearms/elbows.

We also got a tip (I think from Joe Cutter) for 
teaching swinging the arms while walking.  Get 
two canes or ski poles.  Have the child stand 
behind you.  You and the child hold the poles 
horizontally.  Start walking and the child will 
feel the motion of your arms moving back and forth  alternately via the poles.

Carol

Carol Castellano, President
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
973-377-0976
carol_castellano at verizon.net
www.nopbc.org

At 06:18 AM 6/12/2010, you wrote:
>Richard, Thank you for your detailed 
>response.  I already have a treadmill and she 
>has been on it a few times.  A few months ago I 
>was trying to teach her the concept of running. 
>(she walks very slow with her cane)  I thought 
>about having her use it on a regular basis for 
>exercise because she is so comfortable on it, 
>but with her age I was worried about her being 
>too young.  Kathy 
>________________________________ From: Richard 
>Holloway <rholloway at gopbc.org> To: "NFBnet Blind 
>Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind 
>children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org> Sent: Sat, June 
>12, 2010 12:01:21 AM Subject: Re: [blindkid] 
>never stands still Kathy, I don't mind at all. 
>We only started with the treadmill a few months 
>back and she'll be 8-years-old in September. We 
>never really explored this when she was younger. 
>One day a week during school, Kendra goes to an 
>after school program where many of the metro 
>atlanta blind students can go to interact and 
>get some specialized training. One day when I 
>was picking her up, we walked past a classroom 
>where older kids (also blind) were learning 
>about exercising, including stationary bikes, a 
>stepping machine, a weight machine, and a 
>treadmill. She was slightly afraid of it but 
>rather intrigued. Every week, she wanted to go 
>and explore the room. She was too young for the 
>class but the teacher was nice and since I was 
>there to keep her out of harm's way, she would 
>let us stay. After a few weeks she wanted to 
>walk on the treadmill. We decided to let her try 
>it out at 1 mph, then maybe 1.5 or 2. She kept 
>going back each week. Once, a teenager was 
>running at 10 mph on it. She wanted to try that 
>too. I decided against that, but we got a little 
>faster. Time to explore was limited and we all 
>liked the idea of a treadmill here at home so 
>found a used one at a good price. Once home, we 
>had a lot more time to use and explore the 
>machine. She may walk one time for a minute or 
>two, The next time she'll want to go for 5 or 10 
>minutes. Sometimes, she'll ask to start again 
>after 10 minutes and do it again. I'd say we've 
>done as much as 30 minutes walking and a few 
>minutes at a time "sprinting". This machine will 
>also go 10 mph. I think we've run at somewhere 
>between 6 and 7 mph. She wants to go faster. I'm 
>being a little cautious. The faster you go, the 
>easier accidents clearly would be-- there is 
>less room to react to mistakes. One thing the OT 
>at that program showed me that seemed very 
>helpful-- place your hand gently against the 
>small of your child's back at first. This 
>business of walking with no cane-- particularly 
>at a good pace, let alone running all with your 
>hands on a fixed handle can get bodies in the 
>wrong position. There seems to be a tendency for 
>kids to lean forward in poor posture and it is 
>really easy to get off center at first. Keep 
>hands symmetrically on the bar and be certain 
>feet are far enough from the edge that a foot 
>doesn't come down off the belt. Gentle pressure 
>in the small of the back can guide a body back 
>to vertical as well as side-to-side. I found the 
>learning curve was speedy for her. After a 
>while, move your hand away and offer only 
>occasional prompts. Like everything else, reduce 
>hands-on and prompting as you are able. We've 
>had decent luck with this. If the machine will 
>not auto-stop (some have a safety lanyard) teach 
>your child where the stop button is. Remember, 
>if you fall and the machine keeps going it acts 
>sort of like a belt-sander, scraping away if 
>you're not thrown clear. We've had one slight 
>fall with no injury. Me mindful of the landing 
>zone behind the treadmill. If there is a trash 
>can or a vacuum cleaner sitting there by 
>accident, that;s what the user will get thrown 
>onto in fall. Obviously a fall at 1.5 mph is 
>just going to gently bush you off the back , but 
>at a running pace you'll get tossed. I have no 
>doubt that some OT's etc., might frown on kids 
>this young (and younger) being on a treadmill 
>for safety reasons. For us, the benefits seemed 
>to outweigh the minimal risks, but remember 
>there are a number of ways to get banged up with 
>these machines if you're not being careful 
>enough and accidents do happen, but kids get 
>hurt in trampolines too or even walking across 
>the floor. One other idea. (Sears will love me 
>for this.) Many Sears stores have a bunch of 
>treadmills setup and on the floor. You might let 
>your child do a bit of exploring on the 
>treadmills there. Health clubs may run you off, 
>but the commission paid sales guys don't want to 
>do that-- they want to sell you a machine. There 
>are no doubt other places to "shop" as well... 
>That might give you an idea if your child is 
>really likely to use one of these and what size 
>of machine might be indicated no matter where 
>you really plan to buy. I hope that's not too 
>much info-- good luck! Richard On Jun 11, 2010, 
>at 7:45 PM, Kathy B wrote: > Richard, > > Do you 
>mind me asking how old Kendra was when you first 
>started having her use the treadmill?  And, how 
>long will she stay on it at one time? > 
>Thanks, > Kathy > > > > > 
>________________________________ > From: Richard 
>Holloway <rholloway at gopbc.org> > To: "NFBnet 
>Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind 
>children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org> > Sent: Fri, 
>June 11, 2010 3:02:14 PM > Subject: Re: 
>[blindkid] never stands still > > Darian, > > I 
>think you're exactly right-- virtually all kids 
>have this sort of energy. The thing that comes 
>up with blind children more often is that some 
>of them have more trouble finding enough 
>safe-feeling ways to release the energy which 
>must go somewhere. No doubt, ANY child who 
>cannot (for whatever reason, it need not be 
>vision-related) move and jump and play as much 
>as he or she feels compelled to is likely to 
>begin to express motion and release energy in 
>socially undesirable ways. > > My sighted kids 
>can tear off and run and they're not afraid 
>they'll crash into a tree. Kendra won't do that, 
>but she'll put that same level of energy or 
>excitement into jumping in a trampoline, 
>swimming, or any number of other "safe-feeling" 
>activities. Something else I didn't tie to this 
>before-- back to the treadmill. Kendra is 
>hesitant to run across a field, no doubt she 
>doesn't feel sure-footed enough when running 
>and/or she thinks she'll crash into something. 
>However, on a treadmill she will walk briskly or 
>even sprint at times and she loves it. > > 
>Richard > > > > > On Jun 11, 2010, at 11:55 AM, 
>Darian Smith wrote: > >> If I may- >> I think 
>(and I could be wrong) that it's really a matter 
>of having >> alot of energy that needs to be 
>expressed in some way.  getting your >> child to 
>be activ with regards to running, playing in a 
>playground >> withother kids  the child's age, 
>swimming anything that will burn off >> that 
>energy might help. II feel  pretty 
>confident  that sighted >> children have just as 
>much energy and run into the same things as >> 
>well. >> Just my thoughts and they are as valid 
>are as invalid as youmay like >> to take 
>them. >> Best, >> Darian >> >> On 6/10/10, 
>Heather <craney07 at rochester.rr.com> wrote: >>> 
>Jeremy twirls, but he does not do it for 
>prolonged periods, and all >>> toddlers, sighted 
>toddlers do that, although by three or four it 
>does >>> usually decrease from what I have seen 
>in the early childhood field.  We >>> usually 
>try to shape the spinning into something, I.E. 
>Duck Duck Goose going >>> in circles around one 
>of us while we tap his head for ducks and pick 
>him up >>> and raspberry and tickle him for 
>goose, and Ring Around the Rosey, which >>> with 
>only one child, is pretty much just spinning 
>with a song and a planned >>> fall down at the 
>end.  Now he never spins without also singing 
>the song, so >>> I'm not terribly concerned. >>> 
>----- Original Message ----- >>> From: "Richard 
>Holloway" <rholloway at gopbc.org> >>> To: "NFBnet 
>Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind 
>children)" >>> <blindkid at nfbnet.org> >>> Sent: 
>Thursday, June 10, 2010 6:46 PM >>> Subject: Re: 
>[blindkid] never stands still >>> >>> >>>> Our 
>7-year-old still does that occasionally and has 
>done it since she  was >>>> >>>> probably 2. I 
>used to try to tell her to stop but we had 
>far  better >>>> results long term when we 
>redirected her to something else.  Then once 
>we >>>> started offering her more and more 
>movement alternatives  the problem >>>> 
>decreased greatly. If she's spinning a lot at 
>home now,  we'll usually ask >>>> >>>> if she 
>needs to go and jump. Generally, she'll 
>stop  spinning with the >>>> question and walk 
>straight to her trampoline. >>>> >>>> 
>Richard >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> On Jun 10, 
>2010, at 6:26 PM, L wrote: >>>> >>>>> My 
>daughter does the same thing, she is 3.  SHe 
>will spin in circles  and >>>>> >>>>> makes me 
>dizzy.  We have just told her, stop spinning, 
>most of  the time >>>>> she does.  But even 
>while spinning she is holding her  favorite 
>sensory >>>>> toy, so I am not sure what to do 
>either!  Thanks  for the 
>question. >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> 
>________________________________ >>>>> From: 
>Marie <empwrn at bellsouth.net> >>>>> To: Blindkid 
>email <blindkid at nfbnet.org> >>>>> Sent: Thu, 
>June 10, 2010 12:42:54 PM >>>>> Subject: Re: 
>[blindkid] never stands still >>>>> >>>>> 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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> >>> >> >> >> --Darian Smith >> Skype: 
>The_Blind_Truth >> Windows Live: 
>Lightningrod2010 at live.com >> “We are not human 
>beings having a spiritual experience. We are >> 
>spiritual beings having a human experience.” - 
>Teilhard de Chardin >> >> 
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