The focus of Occupational Therapy is often on personal care, life skills, and daily living which includes leisure and play. At Mobile Therapy Centers, our Pediatric Occupational Therapists often promote the role of sports in the lives of the kids we work with. All children can benefit from the exercise, energy release, and pure enjoyment of playing sports. Participating in sports can help boost self-confidence. It can also improve skills in relationship building, working as part of a team and can help in managing children’s weight.
Many of today’s children struggle with what is known as a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This may cause these children to have difficulty participating in certain activities and struggle to enjoy themselves in activities that other children enjoy.
When choosing sports that they may enjoy and benefit from, it is helpful to choose activities that are rich with resistive muscle activity (think push /pull) and rich with movement in all directions (up/down/angular/rotary). Activities that have firm predictable tactile pressure work well.
1) Muscle and joint position sense (proprioception)
2) Movement and balance sensation (vestibular)
3) Tactile input to the skin
These 3 major body senses help to calm and organize the nervous system which helps your child focus and engage well in the activity. Kids with SPD may have more success participating in activities that are not chaotic with people and things moving in different directions – soccer and basketball may be more difficult. They typically do best with activities that do not require a lot of idle standing and waiting time, which may make baseball more difficult.
There is no right or wrong sport for your child, but these guidelines may help to decide which sports may be more enjoyable for them.
Mobile Therapy Centers provides FREE screenings/consultations so why not take advantage of the opportunity to have your child seen by a professional and answer any questions you may have? To learn more, please visit our website and don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with one of our Occupational Therapists.
Mobile Therapy Centers is a Multidisciplinary Clinic specializing in ABA Therapy for Autism, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Feeding Therapy and Counseling. We see children at our clinics in Illinois and Tennessee, at your home or at your child’s school/daycare making it convenient for you and your family.