Saturday, August 29, 2009

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall

Why are some kids so clumsy? They fall often or bump into things...accidents waiting to happen! Well of course, each child is different. Some possible reasons are listed below and may require intervention from a physcian, therapist, or other healthcare practitioner:
  • Ear infections or vertigo. The balance receptors are in the inner ear, and any disturbance with the ear can hinder balancing abilities
  • Orthopedic impairments: whether it be pigeon-toed, bow-legged, tippy toe walkers, flat or pronated feet, or other differences, it could be the bones out of alignment for whatever reason including muscle tone, joint laxity, or muscle weakness. Also, kids who tend to "w-sit" often have hips that turn in and pronated feet (collapse at the arch and turn in)
  • Sensory processing: vestibular (sense of motion and balance), tactile (sense of touch), vision, and proprioceptive (body-in-space awareness) senses contribute to balance, and if there is a problem in one of these senses, the child may fall often or bump into things
  • Needing glasses for visual acuity
  • Cross-eyed (AKA strabismus)
  • Shoes: lack of wearing them or poor fitting shoes can hinder balance skills
  • Environment: maybe the room set-up is too "busy" and hard for the child to maneuver without falling.
  • Strength and tone: some kids are "floppy" and/or have low endurance
  • Hyper-activity or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD): these kids may be extra busy, therefore use momentum as they zoom around the room, so fall often. This is even the case for a child with advanced gross motor skills who can climb the staircase as a baby, but when not on an apparatus (swingset, stairs, slide, etc), he falls

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