WHY TEACHING BALANCE AND COORDINATION IS CRUCIAL FOR TODDLERS WITH LEARNING OR SOCIALISATION DIFFICULTIES
Your kid’s balance system is important to your child. It is placed within the cerebellum (part of the brain’s neural structure), which is vital for higher learning, critical thinking and analysis. Neuroscientific research studies suggest that balance and coordination support children’s vision and posture, including the ability to pay attention and retain information.
To compensate for their academic ‘shortcomings’ they finish schoolwork that's thought of “good enough,” however doesn’t lead to achieving their full potential. These children are bright and want to learn, the simply lack core functions in the cerebellum, that creates a disconnect within the brain for higher learning. Sadly these persistently these kids drift within the system and never get the intervention needed to fast-track their psychological development.
Children that have biological process delays, chronic ear infections or a traumatic event at birth are typically at risk of balance and coordination problems as they become older. Children’s balance and hearing have variety of neural pathways in common so learning challenges may be caused by a life-event which disrupts the connections within the brain used for process and deciphering data.
In her text, “Attention, Balance, and Coordination, - the A. B. C. of Learning Success” Sally Goddard Blythe writes, “When movement potency is non-heritable, degrees of freedom become possible: bilaterally, rhythm, flexibility, motor designing, and control. Coordination and balance are crucial for the event of those higher skills.”
The Warning Signs of Balance and Coordination Problems
If your kid struggles with balance and coordination problems, you may see these signs or symptoms:
Balance and Coordination Activities
1. Sensory Steps
As children master this task, mix up different ways to cross; forwards, sideways, backwards, turning around their longitudinal axis. This activity should be undertaken 3 – 5 times per week.
2. Bosu Jumps
3. EZ Stepper Walks
Have your child place their feet on the buckets of the EZ Steppers and hold the ropes with their hands (ensure the child pulls the ropes tightly to prevent falling). When your child feels stable, have them begin walking forward using their arms and feet to move the steppers. Make sure they walk across a flat surface that is not slippery.
Testing for Balance and Coordination Development
School support staff are able to assist you test your child for balance and coordination issues. Common signs and symptoms may be toe walking, W-sitting, bedwetting, poor balance and coordination, underdeveloped vestibular and proprioceptive systems, and trouble with motor planning.
If your child struggles with any number of these issues, it could be an indication that the nervous system is underdeveloped.
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert.
His personal experience of slipping through education's cracks gives him an unmatched passion to ensure his 3 young children learn in using methods that suit them. He has developed gymnastics based programs to improve academic test scores, numeracy, literacy and creative thinking. Read Ryan's story - above *My Story*