Motor Development: Sensory Gym

in Special Needs

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This is my garage. We don’t actually park in it. So, my generous parents helped me convert it into a gym for the kids. ┬áThere’s a mini-trampoline, a trapeze with rings, a punching bag, a workout ball, and a twizzle stick. We got gym mats on sale from Amazon and I picked up a few packages of interlocking flooring from Home Depot.

The swings hang from the ceiling where we screwed a 2×6 into the rafters. My rafters run long ways in my garage, not across. So, we ran the beam across the studs and drilled 1/8th inch holes to screw in the hooks. The punching bag has fallen out twice, so we need a bigger hook, but the rest of the equipment hasn’t budged.

All in all, this is the best thing we’ve ever done to the house. No matter what the weather, my kids can get all kinds of physical activity and scream they’re heads off. We send them out to the “dojo” several times a day. They’ve spent hours out there. Every day before homeschool, I sent them out for 30 minutes. I do it before church, or any other time thy’re going to be expected to sit still. It’s done wonders for them. And not just for attitude.

Big Kid has low grip strength. He has language challenges. And did you know that in your brain your language centers are tied primarily to your hands? Not your mouth! So kids who have language issues often have grip issues. It’s common in kids that didn’t crawl long to have underdeveloped hands and language problems. But guess what hanging from a trapeze bar five times a day does? HAND DEVELOPMENT.
And it’s MAGIC for their sensory issues. Sensory defensiveness decreases with heavy work, which is great since I don’t usually take the time to do the Wilbarger Protocol. I’d rather send them out to hang from the ceiling than simulate all that deep pressure and joint banging in my living room. Wouldn’t you?


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1 Pat December 17, 2011

This "dojo" looks like a wonderful idea!

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