The Vestibular Integration
The vestibular system is like the “compass” of our brain. It tells us where our head and body are in space in relation to the pull of gravity. Children with vestibular processing dysfunction have poor motor coordination skills, may be fearful of movement, awkward, clumsy and may often bump into things or have regular falls. Children can also appear to be ‘figety’ or ‘sqirmy’ and can sometimes appear to hyperactive or “just can’t stop moving”.
The vestibular system is important and central to functioning in everyday life. Vestibular deficits are often found in children with delayed motor development, perceptual or attention deficits, learning disabilities, emotional problems, language disorders and autism. Therapists at Grace Occupational Therapy use a child friendly approach to training the vestibular system. This approach integrates the visual, auditory and movement activities. Without our systems working in sync information is not interpreted properly. This can make reading, writing, throwing and catching and many other vital activities difficult which impacts on the childs’ development.
During our day to day activities, all parts of the vestibular-visual-auditory triad are required to function at optimal levels. Without full integration of all systems, it is difficult for sensory information that is received to be interpreted and the information can be fragmented and not make much sense. Full integration will impact all aspects of behaviour from planning, directing and controlling our actions to achieving high academic performance.
Therapists incorporate vestibular activation, integrated into our sensory-motor based approach and comprehensive therapy plans to increase the effectiveness of therapy sessions.