Putting the Core in Posture
Written by Cheri Dotterer
Two weeks ago, I talked about the acronym CAPS which stands for Control – Accuracy – Precision – Speed. Last week, I began talking about Control and examined core stability. Today, I am discussing how to facilitate postural control in the classroom.
As we consider improving postural control for all students, not just those with a disability; let’s consider the daily routine. Many elementary students wake up and get ready for school just in time for the bus to arrive, travel to school, and begin the morning routine designed by their teacher. Many students sit at their desks, sit on a carpet for circle time, and walk in the hall for lunch or special classes. These positions keep the torso at neutral.
How often do students run, climb, or jump? 15-minutes at recess. How often do they twist their bodies? Not that often.
Improving postural control must include twisting and bending the torso. Educating teachers on simple techniques to promote postural control has exponential effects on the atmosphere of the classroom.
Here is one technique to facilitating improved postural control throughout the day. Chose several yoga poses. Try the triangle, warrior, tree, downward dog, and mountain poses to start. Prior to a writing activity, students complete a pose for three times for ten seconds each. Encourage the teacher to achieve all five poses throughout each day.
Completing them all at the same time will have less impact than scattering the poses throughout the day.
For example, just before the math lesson, have a student stand next to their desk and complete one pose. Repeat before ELA and Social Studies and Science. Outside the special classrooms, have students stand arm’s length apart and complete one. The poses will reset their focus onto the next task.
You can use dice to preplan the poses each day by assigning a number to a pose. Note: Once a pose is chosen, that number is no longer available to use that day. Assign a student to roll the dice much like teacher helper tasks that are already assigned for the week.
Using the co-teaching model, the occupational therapist would be in the classroom during these transitions to assist the students who have difficulty and help with writing.
Next week we are breaking down postural control for the individual student.
How did this whole classroom suggestion impact your treatment interventions? Learn how to design an action plan to implement such a change in treatment delivery in the HWBBD course