Leg Irons

 

Purpose: To develop awareness of aimless undirected ‘overflow’ body movements (such as foot tapping, kicking, leg swinging, etc), and to develop the ability to simply remain still.

Materials: Any sort of simple binding tool is fine, like a string, ribbon, belt, even a few feet of scotch tape.

Procedure:

The the binding tool to bind either the ankles together, or legs together at mid-calf. This should never be too tight, nor should this be used as punishment or when uncomfortable for the child.

‘Leg Irons’ are used for activities in which the child must maintain stillness in the legs, such as during VMI activities when only arm/hand movement is required. It can also be used to simply create awareness of the superfluous overflow movements – in this scenario, simply have the child sit with the binding on for a few minutes and have them become aware of the movement while trying to calm the legs.

Any walking with leg irons must obviously be done with care not to allow the child to trip and fall, and should be done far from furniture.

Emphasize:

Awareness of random, or undesirable, shifting of feet by feeling the restriction imposed by the ‘leg irons’, when asked to stand or sit still.

Awareness of the process of taking small steps within the restriction imposed by the leg irons when asked to walk in them.

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