Pediatric Structural Integration
WHAT KIDS WILL DISCOVER
Kids love our small gym downstairs. There is one large piece of equipment that truly piques their interest. This one, I call “The Bumper”, is a short ladder and platform leading to a series of rolling bolsters situated on a ramp. Many children jump right on and start to go down this specialized slide, and some kids lack the motor coordination it takes to initially climb the ladder. The great thing about “The Bumper” is that they all want to experience it. Therefore, we can set them up on it and show them what it feels like, and they become excited about eventually working it all on their own.
Besides providing a motivational component, when the child ‘bumps’ down the slide a few times, we usually see a great amount of calming. The lymph system and dural tube are activated, and we may all observe that calming, interest, excitement and a clarity comes to the eyes. The child will usually show us his/her verbal skills during this time.
WHAT THE PARENTS WILL DISCOVER
While the child is experiencing all they want to experience in the gym, for example, the spring floor, bean bags, the bumper, the exercise balls, I am watching and taking notes and allowing the child to be in my space with the parents until they feel safe with me in the room. I am observing everything I can from eye movements, body alignment, attention/eye contact lengths, general coordination, and taking notes on what parents can tell me about their child’s behavior, what interventions they are using, any history they can share with me. I also have the parents fill out a sheet that tells me about some symptoms related to reflex integration. We talk about diet and activities the child enjoys.
From the first appointment, I will put together a plan for the next time we meet. One of the end goals besides using the gym and working on some exercises is to eventually get them to allow me to do some Craniosacral work with them on the table. This part can last for 3 minutes if that is what the child can tolerate. I do not make this a goal at the first appointment, but if it happens, we are all happy. The child feels they have a choice, and if I can get my hands on them for even a short time, they feel trust and I get a chance to see what their dural system feels like.
So, the first appointment is all about Trust and getting to know each other in the setting. It’s about no specific expectations as to what the child should/should not be doing. It’s about allowing them to put their toe in and feel the water. It’s about discovering what their special selves have to show us. It’s about relationship building.
I cannot say how much I love these beautiful children. They are here to teach me. I appreciate every chance to work with them.
Call and talk with our Clinical Coordinator about our Pediatric Structural Integration Service. 513-273-9944
Annie Morris, LMT