The “L” Word

There’s one word that drives me the craziest when it comes to how adults view a child with a disability and it’s the “L” word!

What is the “L” word???

L-A-Z-Y

I have heard toddlers with low tone, students with developmental coordination disorder and teenagers with muscular dystrophy all called this ONE word.

There’s one thing these kids are NOT…is lazy.

Sometimes these kids can appear lazy to the observer.  The child with low tone works really really hard just to fight gravity to stay upright, let alone figure out how to move, listen, look and think all at the same time.  The child with developmental coordination disorder is trying to plan, time and sequence each movement that doesn’t come automatically like it comes to you. The teenager with muscular dystrophy has been taught to conserve both energy and muscle function in various ways.

I am a big proponent of pushing kids to work hard to reach their potential, but we have to do that while being mindful of their experience all at the same time.  Everyday I work to help children develop their underlying foundational motor control and postural control (think strong root to let that tree grow tall) so that they don’t have to work so hard and can focus on much more important things like PLAYING, LEARNING and having FUN!!!

Don’t let your child be labeled lazy, but do explore therapeutic options to help things become easier and more natural!  Schedule a Discovery Visit with one of our therapists today to learn some more insight into your child’s challenges and how we can help!

The Magic of Learning to Ride A Bike

Spring is here despite the ever-changing weather we have been having!  My younger daughter, Sophie, just mastered the 2-wheeler and now ALL she wants to do is ride her bike.  So lately we’ve been out bike riding every chance we get (when its not raining, well, even in the rain sometimes!)

We often just get out there and ride while I chase after her or now that she’s really confident, we’ll go opposite directions and meet around the block.  What has been awesome is that all the kids in the neighborhood start riding together. What initially was mastery of a new skill, has turned into a big social opportunity.

This is an opportunity that we don’t want any of our kids to miss out on!  

I have worked with kids who need various modifications to make biking successful and fun and some kids who simply need the learning process broken down into little bites.  

You know that “AHA Moment” when people learn how to ride a bike?  That moment is actually when we realize a very specific response to the bike leaning to either side, and guess what?  It can be taught! For our kids that need more specific instruction for learning new skills, teaching this directly can take a lot of frustration out of the process for them AND for the parents.

Some great tools for kids to learn are using balance bikes.  Kids can learn to glide and practice balancing without needing to pedal.  You can also remove pedals from a regular bike to accomplish the same thing!

For kids who have trouble keeping their feet on pedals, velcro straps can help with that piece.  

If your child has trouble starting up the bike, practicing on a small hill will let gravity give them a jump start and with more independence than you giving it a push!

Need more help to teach your child to ride a 2-wheeler or 2 find the right adapted bike for them?

Set up a phone call with one of our therapists and let’s come up with a plan for success together. It is never too early or too late to learn!  There’s nothing better than that moment of “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”