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How to improve balance when DD2 has no fear of danger/pain.

(9 Posts)
ImaginaryPoster Fri 28-Mar-14 10:25:12

DD2 is waiting for physio to start at school but that is initially to be focused on improving posture, reducing fidgeting and not getting up and leaving and concentration.

She is 4 and has most of the signs of Dyspraxia, lots for Autism, (according to her paed) a speech delay/communication issues, is hypermobile and has low muscle tone. Also they think she may have a hearing problem but she won't cooperate for tests. We have only had one paed appointment but lots of specialist starting with her and are waiting to go back to the doctor for her to look over their opinions and get her genetic test results and see what to do next.

Physio advised me to work on her balance as this would help DD. I was told to get her scootering, balance bike riding, climbing, horse riding and anything to help her balance. But all of these things have ended in disaster.

A balance bike is beyond her coordination, she lets go of a scooter, when she climbs a slide if she gets distracted she will walk off the step/top. Horse riding we have tried group classes, she fell off. Private lessons, she fell off and a special needs instructor, she fell off. Its not the instructors/helpers fault; DD2 lets go, turns or bounces herself off each time when noone can anticipate her doing it.

Anyone have any low risk ways of improving balance that I can try with her? I've run out of ideas.

PolterGoose Fri 28-Mar-14 10:44:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 28-Mar-14 10:48:17

I was going to say some sort of wobble board too, I think they really work on building core strength so if you start with something like that then the other things should in time start to seem slightly less beyond reach.

If you can mark out a 10cm wide line on a bit of patio for her to walk along as if it was a beam then this might also help but without any risk of injury as there is nothing for her to fall off.

tacal Fri 28-Mar-14 11:21:16

Not sure if any of this will help because as far as I know my ds is not hypermobile. He is waiting on an o/t to assess him.

He has made a lot of progress between age 4 and 5.

He can't master a balance bike. It has taken him a long time to be able to pedal a bike. Even though the bike has stabilisers on it I do feel it is helping his balance and co-ordination. He rides it to and from school now which is amazing.

He sits on a gym ball or bouncy hopper at home and rolls about on them too. I suppose that could help balance.

We have done lots of practising on climbing frames he wears his crash helmet. He did not have the strength to hold on at first but is better now. He still stays at a low level, I don't let him go very high.

My ds likes being pulled along on his micro scooter but he knows he has to hold on tight. I have the one with the high handle bar so I just hold onto it while I am walking. We did this age 4 to 5 and now at 5 he is slowly getting used to using the scooter himself. But I still worry when he is going down hill!

I think the football and karate classes he does also help. It took him a long time to settle in and he struggles massively with controlling his movements but both teachers are great and give him extra help. I find it has made a massive difference to him. But we tried quite a few classes before finding the right ones for him.

And soft play. I really hate those places but we go a lot in the summer when it is quiet because everyone else is outdoors. It has been great for getting ds climbing and balancing.

Good luck.

Marne Fri 28-Mar-14 21:27:51

She sounds very similar to my dd's ( both on the spectrum with dyspraxia traits, low tone and hypermobile ), we have had loads of input from OT and physio, dd1 is now 10 and has just learnt to ride a scooter but can't manage a bike.

Gym balls are the best things you can buy, there's loads of exercises you can do to help with balancing, get her to sit on the gym ball whilst you gently move it side to side so she has to try not to fall off or get her to sit on the ball whilst you pass her something ( toys, balls etc..). Balance boards are also good and wheels boards.

ImaginaryPoster Fri 28-Mar-14 22:16:04

Thanks lots of practical ideas. I'll definitely be buying the cushion and a gym ball for her.

I hadn't thought about things just for her balance, now I can see the things suggested before are quite tough for her coordination wise, following instructions and remembering wise and its just too much. These seem alot more do-able for her. Thanks

streakybacon Sat 29-Mar-14 08:02:14

Might she be able to manage Wii Fit? There are some very simple exercises for balance and they do build up core stability. It's something you could do every day at home, so it would be safe and no embarrassing 'failures'.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 29-Mar-14 08:08:41

DS2 has the move'n'sit cushion, does the balance games on the Wii fit, and goes on the trampoline regularly.

He is 12 and still cannot cycle without wobbling around everywhere. Never managed a two-wheeled scooter.

When he was in Reception, he went to after-school gymnastics which helped a bit.

Redoubtable Sat 29-Mar-14 09:23:11

Imaginary I would imagine that if she has hyperflexibility, hypotonia and is fidgety, that your DD may have difficulty 'feeling' where her body is. So that would make it very hard for her to know where she is in space, and so fall. Particularly when she has to stay still. See here

It may be that she needs to move her body to know where it is (if that makes sense).

This exercise is great for 'pulling the body together'
That blog also has a series of exercises to help with getting vestibular working (the vestibular system is like an internal 'builder's spirit level")

Play with her by spinning, rolling around on grass, jumping jacks, eat chewy or crunchy foods (sometimes chewing gum helps). Head, shoulders, knees and toes song.

As others have said, try a gym ball, getting her to lie over it, balancing on her arms while reading or playing snap or doing a jigsaw or whatever.

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