How do we work together? We know podiatrists dont just look at feet. Similarly, OTs dont just look at hands
Co-Morbid Issues The child with low muscle tone – Flat and pronated feet – Poor postural control – Difficulty sitting for fine motor tasks – Feeding issues
…and further Hands need arches too In hand manipulation and Speed and dexterity
Building blocks for development and learning Emotional Regulation Social – Play Skills Sensory Processing Body Awareness Sensory Modulation Motor Skills Co-ordination Bilateral Integration Gross Motor Fine Motor Visual Skills Visual Perception
Where we come in… – Assess – Skills training – Strategies – Adaptations – Building skills
First step, assessment Informal (Clinical Observations) Formal (Standardised Assessments) – Gross and fine motor movement – Sensory processing – Visual perceptual and visual motor – Developmental assessments – Handwriting
BJH 84% of children with BJH have motor skill difficulties. 14% correlation with speech and language concerns.
Quick checks Ask the child to fully extend elbows – Greater than 180°? Gently see if their fingers bend back at the MCPs – Greater than 90°? If BJH present, but no functional limitation NO OT
What works to improve strength Activities/Exercises Increase strength Increase stability especially in the mid- range (Co-contraction) Heavy work
Joints? Provide stability – Use splints, lycra or neoprene Conserve joints – Decrease load/weight – Alternate methods to complete a task
What do we use Adapted equipment Adapt the environment
High school years Handwriting – Legibility – Speed Exams Curriculum Council process
Toe Walkers Co-morbidity Ideopathic toe walkers Non-ideopathic toe walkers
Toe walkers and sensory processing Proprioceptive seekers Tactile Avoiders on different surfaces.
Sensory Processing We all do it, every day. Tactile Proprioceptive Vestibular/Movement Oral Auditory Visual Olfactory
Sensory Seekers and Avoiders This is the child that you have bouncing off the walls in your clinic This is the child that you see that is unusually tentative or avoidant of touch/movement
Motor Skills Assessment Treatment – Top-down – Bottom-up
Motor Skills Vestibular- children need good quality efficient movement skills and tactile skills for motor planning DCD/orthotics link
Red Flags At any age, the child who is – Too busy – Too quiet (defensive/anxious) – Low tone (fatigues)
More …. Red Flags At Three Arms in high guard when walking Drooling Cant hold their own bodyweight on monkey bars At Four Cant cup their hand Cant imitate simple finger actions like Twinkle Twinkle Cant balance on one leg for 2-7 seconds At Five Hand dominance not well developed – sometimes swaps Cant heel toe walk along a 2 metre line Cant complete 10 hops on preferred foot. At Six Thumb collapses with circle thumb-finger test Cannot Skip- 85% can skip well. Cant hop on one leg for 3 mtrs (first left then test right).
Pearls… Physical activity – Increase good quality movement, decrease screen time Heavy work – Can calm a deregulated child – Stimulates muscle strength in the hypotonic child – Improves proprioception in poorly coordinated children
Top 3 fine motor activity pearls Theraputty / super strengthening kit from Skillbuilders Tricky Fingers Game Highly motivating writing tools e.g. crayon rocks, overwriters, silkies
Top 3 gross motor activity pearls Animal walks Scooter boards Space Hoppers
Take away points Toe walking BJHS Flat feet Warts OT is a highly engaging, motivating process helping children meet their goals.
Questions for you??? What are your thoughts on trampoline use and toe walking? When should children have their orthotics on and off? – During our therapy sessions? – At the beach? – On trampolines?