Friday, September 19, 2014

Astronaut Training

During the post-session reports after Little A's weekly occupational therapy sessions at school, the therapist always goes on about Astronaut Training. I honestly have no idea what this involves apart from slow, controlled spinning followed by weight bearing exercises, but this week we've been told to start doing it at home every day.

Every night for the past few weeks, I've found Little A hanging upside-down off the side of his bed, doing some sort of reverse sit-ups. I've never seen this done at therapy sessions so figure he must be taking care of some sensory need on his own, or just having fun as kids do.

At any rate, I need to buy a pair of 3 pound dumbells for him. In the meantime, he's been using a very heavy book to serve as his weight, carting it around the flat and lifting it over his head as I instruct him. Whether or not this will serve the same purpose, I've no idea. But it's good to improvise, and books are abundant in our house. 

The spinning part, I would love to know more about. (Though perhaps I could just Google that, because Wikipedia no doubt has something to say about this.) After spinning, a child's eye movements are observed, as neurotypical children get dizzy after such exercise and autistic children, less so. Or maybe it's the other way around. 

In ballet, early on, students are taught to focus on one point as they turn, whipping their head around at the last second to look at the spot again. This keeps us from getting dizzy and therefore allows one to do multiple turns easily. I was terrible at this, to my dismay, and turns were probably my weakest point as a dancer.

Maybe astronaut training would have helped me. Seeing as I'm thinking of signing up for an adult ballet class next month, perhaps I should ask Little A's OT about it. (Or, again, Google.) Who knows, perhaps in my middle age, I'll finally get around to doing those 32 fouettes.

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