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Sports and IM
Several of the teens that I see have come into the clinic for learning issues, but also are wondering if IM will help them in sports. Whenever a child brings this up to me, I really like to involve them in creating an exercise that they think will help them to work on their specific sport. Now sometimes, the activity is very crazy, and the child is unable to perform it – but sometimes they come up with something really good that I then ask their permission to use with other children.
Baseball is the simplest one. We have had a switch for home plate, and then a target switch on the wall to tap with a bat. This helped improve contact with the bat, and his ability to shift his gaze from home plate to the ball coming towards him.
Basketball proved to be very difficult to complete. Bouncing a ball on the foot switch can be very challenging to do! But, if they can conquer that with good timing, then they could also “shoot” the ball at a switch hung on the wall. This really helped the child develop a rhythm to his dribbling and gave him greater control over the ball.
Volleyball was very fun, and was taught to me by a teen who had lost the use of one of her arms. She chose to place switches in places where she could “bump” them, much like she would do a volleyball. This helped this child to coordinate both sides of her body much better, and she was able to return to her team more quickly, because she had practiced these moves during her rehabilitation.
Ice Hockey – yes, Ice Hockey!! After my patient demonstrated to me his “skating form” we were able to help him gain endurance for a crouched position (I held a tennis racket over his head to keep him in that position) and then we placed 2 foot switches behind and out to the side of him so he could tag each one to the beat, much like he would do his strokes when he would skate.
Next up I have a teen who is a runner for track and cross country as well as a lacrosse player. I can’t wait to see what activities we are able to come up with together. IM can be very motivating to the sports enthusiast as it can help them to be more focused and precise when they play their sport.
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