Incorporating Therapy into Your Child’s Everyday Life

When a child is born with special needs, he would be starting therapy at a young age in which he would be given exercises to do. As a result what are formed in his mind are two different things: one is his life at kindergarten school or at home with parents where he could do anything the way he wants to; and another one is therapy where he is asked to do a routine of exercises.

The question which we should be asking parents is, “Did we exercise as kids or babies?” The answer is probably “No”.

When children are developing they are usually not exercising, they are functioning.

Through the stages of development, God has created the nervous system to take us through the stages of development where we accommodate to new positions. We learn how to get into these positions by transferring from one posture into another in order to function in each one of them.

As a result, we eventually become mobile in all positions including vertical ones such as standing up and walking. But we have not been exercising.

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If a child is given exercises, and as a parent you guide him to do it,  e.g. twenty times a day to strengthen his trunk, this will not teach your child how to roll, how to stand up, how to walk.

As an example, there has been a case which happened on a Russian sports field a long time ago. When the head coach of a famous soccer team was changed and a new coach was brought into the field, he said that all of the soccer players have weak legs. So the players were forced to go to the gym where they built leg muscles. When they got on the field, all of them had huge, big, strong leg muscles, but they couldn’t even maneuver the ball.

The point is, every bodily function is different. In each particular sport, there is a specific type of training for athletes, which will not fit into another type of sport.

Hence any child has to be taught, not through exercise routines, but in the practicing of functions at home, which has to be incorporated into daily routine life, every second, every minute. Your child will soon acquire these functions in order to become completely independent in life.


About the author

Natan Gendelman has written 274 articles for Enabled Kids.

Natan Gendelman is licensed as a physical therapist in Russia and Israel. After moving to Canada, he was certified as a kinesiologist and osteopathy manual practitioner. Natan has more than 20 years of experience providing rehabilitation and treatment for conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, pediatric stroke and acquired brain injury. He is the founder and director of Health in Motion Rehabilitation, a Toronto-based clinic whose main objective is to teach their patients the independence necessary for success in their daily lives.

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