How to Use our Proprioceptive System to Help our ASD Kids

As parents, carers, or guardians, we want our children to be healthy and happy, right? We want our young people to grow into strong and confident individuals who can easily navigate the world. One important aspect of a child’s development is their proprioceptive system. This system is not often talked about, so let’s bring it to the forefront of conversation and talk about it today.

What is the proprioceptive system?

Let’s start with what the proprioceptive system is. Basically, it’s the body’s awareness sense that tells us where our body parts are without looking at them, along with telling our brains what force and pressure we need to use when moving or doing something.

Why is the proprioceptive system important in kids with ASD?

Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder, SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and Aspergers struggle to recognise their body’s movements and how they use the space around them. Meaning if their Proprioceptive System isn’t firing quite right either, this behaviour might be more heightened and more noticeable.

Common signs their proprioceptive system isn’t quite right are:

·        Trying to touch their own face, but missing

·        Getting unnecessarily rough when playing and not realising they’re doing so

·        Hand-eye co-ordination may not be quite right

·        Applying too much force to their pencil when writing

·        Poor postural control – can’t stand or sit upright

·        Likes tight clothing and feeling pressure

·        Stamping their feet when walking rather than walking normally

·        Prefers to sit on their knees/tucked under them

How do you know when your child needs proprioceptive activities?

It can be healthy for all kids to engage in activities that promote a healthy proprioceptive system. Would you like to take advantage of some proprioceptive activities that your kids might enjoy? Here are some examples:

  • Yoga poses involving pushing or pulling against the ground or other objects, such as Downward-Facing Dog, Warrior I, or Chair Pose
  • Climbing, swinging or hanging from monkey bars or other playground equipment
  • Jumping on a trampoline, or doing jumping jacks or other jumping activities
  • Pushing, pulling, or carrying heavy objects, such as grocery bags, boxes, or furniture
  • Playing tug-of-war or other games that involve resistance
  • Doing chores that involve physical effort, such as vacuuming, sweeping, or washing dishes
  • Bouncing on a therapy ball or rolling on a therapy peanut ball

Remember, proprioceptive activities should be fun and engaging for children and tailored to their age and abilities. And if we can have them helping out around the house or with the grocery shopping, I am all for it. How about you?

What next

Your child’s OT can be a great resource if you have one, or seek one out if you don’t, along with your pediatrician. It’s not a one size fits all approach when it comes to your child’s proprioceptive system. So, receiving a professional opinion/advice is always beneficial.

But as we said above, the proprioceptive activities we talk about above can benefit anyone, so think about introducing them into your daily routine. You can always make a fun game out of it and join in too.

And if you need a sounding board or somewhere to purchase some toys and tools to support your proprioceptive activities, then come and check out Altona North store and say hi or if you’re not nearby, visit our Sensory Oasis online store.


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