The question came up on the VTOD DOC list re: what to do with Pervasive Developmental Delay – children with significant neuromuscular/neurosensory integrative concerns. Addressing full body enhances spatial awareness and visuomotor control. There are added benefits including better regulation of emotional impulses and symp/parasym balance, and evolution of self-confidence. Below are my notes shared with the one looking for guidance. I hope you find this of interest/use.


PS – Kids yoga alone is a great place to start. Look for dedicated kids yoga instructors, or better yet, people who are Registered Yoga Therapists. See: http://blogs.mtroyal.ca/conted/2013/04/18/yoga-therapy-student-has-unexpected-career/


Sally Blythe-Goddard has a few manuals that are quite approachable/quick reads and they offer videos as well. My colleague and I are also developing a video series which I will be happy to share when available. It is based on principles of Yoga Therapy (YT). More in a minute.

Titles to start with:

Assessing Neuromotor Reading for Learning

Attention, Balance and Coordination: the A.B.C. of Learning Success

See also:

http://learningmanagement.ca/retained-primitive-reflexes/ (if you get 404 errors, the page is restricted access. Let me know.)

As for ‘dynamic visual targets’, review some basic YT principles to start, try these (there are many other peds yoga sources out there, including videos):

Creative Yoga For Children: Inspiring the Whole Child through Yoga, Songs, Literature, and Games (not as good as)

Yoga Therapy for Children With Autism and Special Needs

(all titles are available as Kindle books)

Take the basic yoga moves and ensure the child is comfortable with a pose, say Tree Pose. You may need to load/unload it to ‘scaffold’ up to the ideal stance/posture. Once this is achievable, add in visual stimulus: Start with a stationary target, like a laser spot. Try it in different points in the field, but the child should remain with head steady. Target should not exceed a 60 degree circumscribed circle, iow, the eyes should not strain too much to fixate. Move the target around, leaving in one spot for perhaps 5 seconds. Once this is achievable, consider slow movement of the target within the same field. Once this is achievable, speed things up a little. Next, consider a ‘vision tube’: I believe Carl Garbus has something like this? Or you can create one from materials at local craft/vinyl lettering sources – a clear tube 1 m long, with a small ball inside, like a small bouncy ball, or a ping pong ball – position this tube before the child and slowly roll the ball back and forth while maintaining yoga position and head position, so you are challenging OKN. Do this again while having the child move the head to track WITH the ball, the AGAINST the movement of the ball. In both of these last cases, you are challenging OKN/VOR as well as core strength and bilateral coordination.

You would use these same ‘dynamic’ principles using any ‘hard’ target such as a Marsden ball. Some primitive reflex activities also lend themselves well to this approach, but the focus there is really on SLOW, ACCURATE, CONTROLLED full body movements. In the PR activities where the child is moving more, say pigeon/duck walking, the dynamic targets are perhaps more appropriate.

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