#147 - Tips for Improving Body Awareness, Mid-Range Control and Force Modulation!

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC April 07, 2021

Tips for Improving Body Awareness, Mid-Range Control and Force Modulation!

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Tips for Improving Body Awareness, Mid-Range Control and Force Modulation!

Life can be challenging if you’re struggling with knowing where your body is in space. 

Some of your kiddos might be facing daily challenges if they lack body awareness, mid-range control, or force modulation, so today’s episode is all about these skills and tips for improving them. 

These three “skills” act like a little triad that you have to think about when you are addressing these challenges with a client (as a therapist), or if you are a parent and you are trying to figure out what the heck is going on - why is your child having these challenges? 

Tuning in, you’ll get a quick overview of what the terms body awareness, mid-range control, and force modulation mean, what they look like if your child is struggling with any of them, and, of course, some activities and strategies to try to make a difference. 

Tune in for all this and more on today’s episode of All Things Sensory by Harkla!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What body awareness is: the ability to recognize where your body is in space.
  • How proprioception and body awareness are the same, but also different. 
  • Some signals you might notice if your kid struggles with body awareness, like clumsiness. 
  • Here’s an example: try to put on Chapstick with your eyes closed.
  • Things you can do to help improve body awareness, such as proprioceptive activities, bilateral integration tasks, and video feedback.
  • Force modulation - another word for how much force is required for a specific task.
  • What to look out for if your child is struggling with force modulation, like too much or too little force and abnormal arousal levels.
  • How to help with force modulation issues: when in doubt, prop it out!
  • An explanation of mid-range control - the ability to go through a movement with control.
  • Signs that your child is struggling with mid-range control, such as poor fine motor skills.
  • Activities that help with mid-range control, including proprioceptive activities, weighted object tasks, and using visual feedback.

Highlights:

“What to do if your kiddo is struggling with [body awareness, mid-range control, or force  modulation]? When it doubt, prop it out!” — All Things Sensory[0:16:05]

“[Proprioception] is the most regulating sense and we can target a lot of the skills [that help with these issues] with proprioceptive activities!” —  All Things Sensory[0:16:31]

“A child’s occupation is play, so the best way to work on the skills is through games!” — All Things Sensory[0:25:06]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

FREEBIE - click to download 5 Activities to Complete Blindfolded

Harkla

All Things Sensory on Instagram

All Things Sensory on Facebook

Harkla Giveaway

Proprioception Episode

Muscle Tone vs Muscle Strength Episode

FULL SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[0:00:01.4] RH: Hey there, I’m Rachel.

 

[0:00:03.1] JH: I’m Jessica and this is All Things Sensory by Harkla. Together, we’re on a mission to help children, families, therapist and educators live happy and healthy lives.

 

[0:00:12.2] RH: We dive into all things sensory, special needs, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care and so much more. In each episode, we share raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies for everyone to implement into daily life.

 

[0:00:24.6] JH: Thank you so much for joining us.

 

[0:00:28.7] RH: Hey everyone, Rachel and Jessica here and we wanted to share some exciting news that we have here at Harkla.

 

[0:00:36.7] JH: April is autism awareness month and we at Harkla are celebrating that because we are all about helping those with autism as well as everyone else.

 

[0:00:47.1] RH: Everyone in between, yes. We are hosting a giveaway that runs from April 1st to April 18th and we are drawing daily winners for 13 days. 

 

[0:00:56.8] JH: There will be a total of 16 winners because there’s also going to be four prizes on the last day. Now, different prices for this giveaway include compression swing or a weighted blanket or a supplement.

 

[0:01:13.2] RH: We’re giving away over $3,000 in winnings. How do you enter the giveaway?

 

[0:01:19.8] JH: All you have to do is go to Harkla.co/giveaway and that’s Harkla.co/giveaway.

 

[0:01:31.1] RH: Okay, go enter and good luck and we’re so excited. 

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

[0:01:36.3] RH: Welcome back if you are a Lifer, welcome, welcome if you're new here, I am Rachel.

 

[0:01:42.5] JH: I’m Jessica.

 

[0:01:43.5] RH: This is All Things Sensory by Harkla! And you’re listening to episode 147.

 

[0:01:52.3] JH: 147 episodes. I was just telling Rachel today that what’s it going to be like when we get to like a thousand episodes?

 

[0:01:59.6] RH: Welcome to episode 1347.

 

[0:02:02.8] JH: My god. We might not go that far.

 

[0:02:07.6] RH: We will.

 

[0:02:08.2] JH: Okay.

 

[0:02:08.8] RH: Why not?

 

[0:02:09.3] JH: Sure, let’s do it.

 

[0:02:09.8] RH: We have that many things to talk about.

 

[0:02:11.6] JH: Yeah, I feel like we definitely do.

 

[0:02:14.9] RH: Today, we are talking and I’m honestly surprised that it’s taken us this long to talk about this topic but we’re talking about body awareness, midrange control and force modulation.

 

[0:02:27.2] JH: Yeah, three different topics but they relate to each other and they’re intertwined so if you struggle with body awareness, you’re probably going to struggle with force modulation. If you struggle with force modulation, you’re going to struggle with midrange control and it just is like a circle.

 

[0:02:44.3] RH: The circle of life, I’m just kidding.

 

[0:02:45.9] JH: Basically. The circle of challenges.

 

[0:02:52.1] RH: It is, it’s like a cute little triad that you have to think about when as a therapist, you are addressing these challenges with a client or if you’re a parent and you’re trying to figure out what the heck is going on, why is your child having these challenges.

 

We’re going to do just a quick overview of what these terms are, what they look like in your kiddo, what they look like if your child is struggling and then of course, some activities and strategies to try to make a difference.

 

[0:03:25.2] JH: Because that’s why you’re here. Now, preface this episode by saying you might hear some baby noises in the background because Trip is here with us today. I already told him to stop yelling but he just kind of just does his own thing.

 

[0:03:42.4] RH: Yes. Thank you guys for understanding. We warned you, this time last year that things were going to get crazy with the baby and podcasting.

 

[0:03:52.9] JH: Yeah, that’s just life.

 

[0:03:54.0] RH: Yeah.

 

[0:03:54.3] JH: Okay. All right, let’s start with body awareness. What is body awareness?

 

[0:04:00.8] RH: I feel like it’s a term that gets thrown out a lot when everyone doesn’t always have a body awareness challenge if you flop your body around or if you’re crashing. I just think that it’s a very specific challenge that needs to be addressed in a therapeutic setting.

 

[0:04:18.8] JH: Yeah, body awareness is basically your body’s ability to recognize and understand where it is in space. Your muscles and your joints send information to your brain about where your body is and how it’s moving. This might sound a lot like proprioception or the proprioceptive system, which they kind of are the same a little bit.

 

[0:04:44.0] RH: Yeah, they’re like super intertwined and connected because proprioception, first of all, go back and listen to our episode about the topic of proprioception, we’ll link that in the show notes but prope, we say prope is the awareness of the position and movement in the body. In that sense, body awareness and proprioception are technically the same thing.

 

[0:05:07.0] JH: Yeah but proprioception goes further than that because proprioceptive input is also heavy work and compression, deep pressure. Proprioception goes a lot further than body awareness.

 

[0:05:19.2] RH: Yes, but it’s a great way to address body awareness which we will go into later. We’re going to just dive into how it connects to the other systems of the body and kind of what we see with our kiddos who struggle.

 

[0:05:36.2] JH: Also really quick, body awareness and the proprioceptive system are directly related to the tactile system so just keep that in mind.

 

[0:05:46.0] RH: Some signals that you might see if your kiddo struggles with body awareness, they might be clumsy they might bump into objects while they’re moving in their environment, they might trip, they might fall, they might just be described as a klutz.

 

[0:06:00.5] JH: Yeah, they are going to struggle with coordination for age-appropriate tasks, so things like writing a bike or eating with utensils. Just overall coordination of their body is going to be decreased. 

 

[0:06:15.7] RH: They’re also probably going to play too rough with their peers or siblings, even after being told or shown how to play differently. They just lack that awareness to know what their body is doing and it’s not that they’re doing it on purpose. 

 

They’re not trying to hurt anyone, they just struggle with knowing where their body is in space.

 

[0:06:35.6] JH: Yup.

 

[0:06:36.0] RH: It’s almost like, I’m trying to think of a relatable term. If you’re inebriated and if you drink and you are kind of just – 

 

[0:06:44.2] JH: You have no body awareness.

 

[0:06:46.9] RH: Walk up the stairs when you’re inebriated or if you don’t drink, you know?

 

[0:06:51.2] JH: That’s a crazy example though.

 

[0:06:52.5] RH: Spin around in a circle 10 times and then try to go up the stairs. I mean, you can’t, you don’t have the body awareness.

 

[0:06:59.1] JH: Yeah, you’re clumsy, you’re struggling, you don’t have the coordination exactly. Going along with coordination, you might struggle with daily tasks like getting dressed, wiping, using the bathroom, eating, all of those things that you have to move your body in a coordinated way and interact with different things in your environment, that’s going to be a big struggle.

 

[0:07:21.7] RH: Yeah, I do have an example that I thought of which is, putting on Chapstick with your eyes closed.

 

[0:07:27.8] JH: I mean, I could do it because when I put Chapstick on, I’m not looking at my lips.

 

[0:07:31.8] RH: But a person who struggles with body awareness, they’re going to put the Chapstick on their nose by accident.

 

[0:07:36.8] JH: Or just like all over their face, yeah.

 

[0:07:38.7] RH: Yeah.

 

[0:07:38.9] JH: That’s true.

 

[0:07:40.1] RH: Which if you think about that, that would be miserable.

 

[0:07:42.9] JH: Yeah, I wouldn’t like that at all.

 

[0:07:44.4] RH: No. We always want you guys to empathize with us, that is so important with these kids.

 

[0:07:49.2] JH: Yes. If your kiddo struggles with body awareness, if they have poor body awareness, what can you do? 

 

[0:07:57.7] RH: We told you that it’s connected with the proprioceptive sense so you’re going to do more heavy work, more proprioceptive activities throughout the day.

 

[0:08:06.2] JH: Prope it out. 

 

[0:08:07.3] RH: If you have a sensory diet, if you’re working on a sensory diet then you can incorporate these activities into that sensory diet but also know that these activities are going to help to organize the nervous system so things like animal walks, obstacle courses. I love when someone will steamroll me with a therapy ball.

 

[0:08:26.2] JH: For sure.

 

[0:08:28.0] RH: Things like pushups, crawling, just think abut the compression and stretching to the joints and muscles.

 

[0:08:35.4] JH: Also, try completing more bilateral integration, bilateral coordination tasks. Jumping jacks and snow angels are a great place to start coordinating both arms together, both legs together but then also arms and legs together.

 

Also, try cross crawls which if you’re not familiar with cross crawls, I’ll see if I can describe it really quick. You know what? This is a better way to explain it. Think about bicycle crunches when you’re laying on your back and you’re doing bicycle crunches, cross crawls are basically bicycle crunches standing up.

 

[0:09:09.7] RH: Yes, you’re just crossing midline, your right elbow is touching your left knee.

 

[0:09:13.9] JH: Yes, you’re not like bending over, you’re also going to try to do it maintaining that upright posture so you’re activating your core muscles. Anything that you can do to coordinate the arms and legs together.

 

[0:09:25.2] RH: Yeah. Additionally, want to work on tasks without the use of vision. We love sensory bins with a blindfold on. We love asking a child who touches certain body part without looking, so close your eyes and touch your pinky to your nose.

 

[0:09:43.0] JH: That sounds – that is a tricky one, that’s a good one.

 

[0:09:45.5] RH: Then also, completing familiar tasks with a blindfold on. Putting a blindfold on and eating breakfast. Maybe it’s a bowl of cereal so you’re not cutting toast or something like that.

 

[0:09:58.7] JH: Be smart about this, okay?

 

[0:10:01.9] RH: Brushing your teeth with your eyes closed or with your opposite hand, getting dressed with your eyes closed, you know, all of those things will help to improve that body awareness because the goal is to improve the awareness of where you’re at in space.

 

[BREAK]

 

[0:10:15.6] RH: We just want to take a minute and talk to you about our company Harkla. Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy, healthy lives. Not only do we accomplish this through the podcast but we also have therapy products, easy to follow digital courses and the Harkla Sensory Club to try to bring wholistic care to you and your family.

 

[0:10:34.0] JH: Listeners of The All Things Sensory Podcast get 10% off their first purchase at Harkla with the discount code “sensory”. We’d recommend checking out some of our best sellers like the compression sensory swing, weighted blankets or our course on sensory diets.

 

[0:10:49.0] RH: Here’s the best part. 1% of each sale gets donated to the University of Washington Autism Center to support autism research and fund scholarships to families in need to receive in-clinic therapy for their child.

 

[0:11:00.9] JH: Learn more about Harkla and all we have to offer at Harkla.co and don’t forget the discount code SENSORY to get 10% off your first purchase. That’s SENSORY for 10% off.

 

[0:11:22.6] RH: And, the best part is, all Harkla orders come with a lifetime guarantee and free shipping. You really can’t beat that

 

[0:11:30.4] JH: No, you can’t. Okay, let’s go back to the show.

 

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

 

[0:11:34.9] JH: Okay, a couple of other strategies that you can use to help improve body awareness is vibrations so you know those massage –

 

[0:11:43.7] RH: Medics, yeah.

 

[0:11:44.3] JH: Home medics, vibrating massagers, those are great to use on arms and legs and your back and I love this one with little kids and toddlers and you're maybe singing a song like, “This is your arm, arm, arm,” or make something up, you know?

 

That you’re giving the words of that body part while you’re giving the vibration to that body part to make that association.

 

[0:12:07.0] RH: Yeah, there’s also vibrating weights but like bands that go on your legs and your arms are cool.

 

[0:12:13.6] JH: Yeah, those are super-cool.

 

[0:12:13.4] RH: Then ankle weights and wrist weights, we like to put those on opposite arms and legs as well.

 

[0:12:19.5] JH: Yes, that’s a good one. Weighted vest, compression vest give that proprioceptive input to the body to help with body awareness and then if you have listened to us before, you know how much we talk about video feedback because video feedback is so beneficial.

 

[0:12:38.7] RH: Yeah, we use it for everyone. For kids, yeah. 

 

[0:12:42.3] JH: Everyone, everything.

 

[0:12:45.1] RH: If I’m doing a new exercise or something like that and I don’t know what I’m doing, I have to – I would set-up my camera so I can see what I’m doing or find a mirror and do it in front of the mirror so that way I know how my form is.

 

[0:12:56.0] JH: Yeah, get that visual feedback.

 

[0:12:59.4] RH: One other thing that I thought was kind of fun to incorporate as an activity in your household is stack, red solo cups up around your house and if the kiddo bumps into them or knocks the mover on accident, have them complete an activity that you’ve written in the bottom of the cups so they realize.

 

[0:13:17.4] JH: This would just be something that you would just have around the house and maybe your kid helps you set it up and you’re just going about your daily routine and if somebody bumps a cup over, anyone in the house then they have to do it.

 

[0:13:26.8] RH: Yeah, absolutely.

 

[0:13:27.3] JH: Maybe when they bump the cup over and they do the exercise, they can put the cup in a new place.

 

[0:13:32.6] RH: Yes, that’s fun.

 

[0:13:34.1] JH: You just have to make sure I could see some kids like intentionally knocking the cup over so make some rules on it or something, so make it a competition to see who can knock down the least amount of cups or something.

 

[0:13:44.5] RH: There you go, yup.

 

[0:13:45.9] JH: I don’t know.

 

[0:13:46.5] RH: Super fun. Let’s move on to force modulation, which is another word for graded movement. 

 

[0:13:55.1] JH: This is knowing, understanding how much force to use for a specific task. This is directly related to our body awareness, proprioception and tactile processing. We told you, they’re all connected. 

 

[0:14:09.9] RH: Yep, so some signals that you can look for if a kiddo might be struggling with forced modulation is they first of all use too much force. These are the kids who may be pushed too hard, pulled to hard, plays too rough, breaks things easily, they break their pencil lead, they break their paper because they’re erasing too hard, things like that. 

 

[0:14:32.4] JH: Now, the opposite of that is going to be a kiddo who uses too little force and you kind of do have to use some problem solving to determine are they using too little force because they don’t have the strength or is it because they don’t know how much force to use. Maybe they are not able to push or pull hard enough to successfully complete a task. 

 

[0:14:54.2] RH: Yeah, I will say that most of the time we see too much force with this one. Like we said, it is all connected. These kiddos are probably going to have poor body awareness as well and they’re going to struggle with voice modulation, which means – that exactly, which means they talk too loudly or too softly even after they’ve had a demo or they’ve been told, “Hey, you need to talk louder” or “Hey, you need to talk quieter.” “Hey, can you match my voice?” and they can’t. 

 

[0:15:29.4] JH: Yeah, another sign that they might struggle with force modulation is that their arousal level maybe consistently too high or too low for a given situation. For example, a child in the classroom needs to be more calm but their arousal level is way too high for that situation. Vice-versa, maybe a kiddo is out on the playground and their arousal level is really, really low when it should be a little bit higher. 

 

[0:15:59.1] RH: Yeah, I like that example. What can you do if your child struggles with this? How can you improve it? When in doubt, prope it out. 

 

[0:16:08.2] JH: Every time, get more proprioceptive activities into their day. These activities get feedback to the joints and muscles, it improves body awareness, which then improves the ability to interact with the environment with the right amount of force. 

 

[0:16:24.6] RH: I don’t want to say that proprioception like is a cure all. 

 

[0:16:29.7] JH: It solves everything. 

 

[0:16:31.4] RH: But it really is the most regulating sense and we can target a lot of these skills with proprioceptive in there. 

 

[0:16:38.8] JH: I mean there is that whole idea of like it’s not – you can’t really overdo proprioceptive input. It is the only sense, the only sensory system that you can’t too much off. 

 

[0:16:52.1] RH: Yeah, so another way that you can work on this is to practice and role play and use social stories. Keep in mind that you don’t want to do this necessarily in the moment of when your child is talking too loudly or pushing too hard with their paper because they’re probably going to get frustrated. That’s why we want to practice some role play at different times when they’re not actually like going to be upset that you’re working on it with them, if that makes sense. 

 

[0:17:21.5] JH: Yeah, it does but also sometimes we just need to teach our kids what’s expected in different situations. If your child has never experienced a specific situation before, they don’t know how to interact with that situation. Excuse me sir. Sometimes we just need to teach our kiddos what is expected in different situations. You know if your child has never experienced a specific activity or a specific situation, they don’t know how to behave in that situation so sometimes we do just need to teach them. 

 

[0:17:52.5] RH: Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up. Unfortunately, you know, they don’t learn these things. Sometimes they learn these things without being taught but a majority of the time, we do have to take the time to actually teach them. 

 

[0:18:06.3] JH: You know, I think about the first time a kiddo goes to the library. Maybe they are so excited by all the books and all the other kids around that they start yelling and screaming and running around. Well, they’ve never been to the library so they don’t know what expected. All you have to do is just teach them what’s expected. Now, for our kiddos who really truly do struggle in these areas, you might need to practice more often. 

 

You might need to practice in a variety of settings, you might need extra reminders on a regular basis. You know, you might just have to do a little bit more. 

 

[0:18:38.4] RH: One other thing that we need – a couple more things actually, we need to incorporate more postural control and strength-based task. There is a saying in occupational therapy that you can’t have distal control without proximal stability, which means we have to have a stable core, stable trunk in order to have distal control or control with our fingertips. If you are asking a child to write with the appropriate amount of force and they don’t have that postural control yet, well then you are asking them an impossible task. 

 

[0:19:08.3] JH: Yeah, so you need to do more activities that activate that core in order to build that strength and stability in the core. 

 

[0:19:19.3] RH: Yes. Now, we also want to incorporate visuals with this. Like Jessica was saying earlier, you got the library, you might need a visual card or a social story or a visual queue between the two of you. When their voice starts to get a little bit too loud, then you can tap your shoulder and they know, “Oh my voice, that means I need to bring them down a little” things like that. 

 

[0:19:41.9] JH: Yeah, that’s a great strategy too. I like having the picture too of like maybe you have a picture of a child screaming and a picture of a child sitting quietly on whatever and they have to choose the one that matches the situation. You can even turn it into a game or something. 

 

[0:19:56.9] RH: Incorporating like chores and activities into the child’s routine that can help facilitate that improved forced modulation or things like taking out the trash, washing windows, playing with a balloon because they have to use the right amount of force with those activities in order to be successful and you know, if you are playing with a balloon not pop the balloon or not hit the balloon too hard or too soft. 

 

[0:20:23.6] JH: I do love that. I love balloon volleyball or even playing catch or throwing to a target where you can discuss the situation as it’s happening even and ask the child, “Hey, how did you hit that? Did you hit it too hard, too soft or just right?” and see if they can verbally tell you how much force they used but then also can they reflect back and say, “Next time, I am going to use this amount of force instead.” 

 

[0:20:49.4] RH: I love that one so much. 

 

[0:20:50.8] JH: I know, it’s so good. 

 

[0:20:51.9] RH: It’s like we were swinging and throwing an object to a target, you know? The child overthrows and you have to ask them, “Did you throw it too hard, too soft or just right?” and if they don’t know, then that is a sign that they have no idea what their body is doing. They don’t know how to modulate the force and make changes because that’s the whole challenge with force modulation is they have to be able to make the changes in order to be successful. 

 

[0:21:16.1] JH: Yep. 

 

[0:21:16.6] RH: There you go. 

 

[0:21:17.4] JH: It’s so good. 

 

[0:21:18.4] RH: Okay and the last topic we are going to cover in this episode is midrange control. 

 

[0:21:25.2] JH: This is the ability to move through a movement with control. 

 

[0:21:31.6] RH: Moving your arm with control in order to complete a task as well as your hands and it’s a way from your body so you aren’t relying on a stabilizer so you weren’t resting your arm on the desk while you’re stacking the block or things like that. 

 

[0:21:47.4] JH: Now midrange control is related to the skeletal and muscular systems because it requires that movement piece through space but then it’s also related to muscle tone more than it is to muscle strength, right? Muscle tone is the muscle tension at rest and it provides us with the ability to maintain an upright posture and use effective midrange control for a variety of tasks. 

 

[0:22:13.5] RH: We did do a podcast episode on the difference between muscle tone and muscle strength, so make sure that you pop back and listen to that episode if you are confused about the difference. We’ll link that in the show notes as well. 

 

[0:22:26.1] JH: Yes.

 

[0:22:26.7] RH: Some signals that we can often see when a child struggles with midrange control are things like poor ability to complete fine motor tasks like handwriting, stacking blocks, feeding themselves, dressing themselves, doing buttons and zippers and things like that. 

 

[0:22:42.2] JH: You might also notice some shakiness during fine motor tasks. Now, we don’t want to confuse these with intention tremors because that is a little bit different. Midrange control is very, you know, like I said, related to that muscle tone. If your child has low muscle tone, they might be a little bit shaky when they are trying to do a controlled fine motor task. 

 

[0:23:04.7] RH: Again, these kiddos with low muscle tone are still going to struggle with that midrange control. They still need, even though they have low muscle tone, it is not necessarily like saying, “Oh, they’re going to have poor midrange control no matter what.” You can still work on midrange control with these low tone kiddos. 

 

[0:23:21.3] JH: And improve it. 

 

[0:23:22.0] RH: And improve it, absolutely. 

 

[0:23:23.7] JH: Yeah and then this also goes back to the fact that typically if you have low muscle tone, you might also have laxity in your joints, which is going to take away that stability component. 

 

[0:23:35.3] RH: Yeah, so true. What can you do to help your kiddo improve their midrange control? Guess what number one is.

 

[0:23:42.1] JH: Guess what it is, we’ll give you a second to think about it. Did you – 

 

[0:23:46.9] RH: Yeah, did you get it? 

 

[0:23:48.6] JH: Did you get it? Did you say proprioceptive input? If you didn’t, then you probably should start this episode over and try again. 

 

[0:23:58.3] RH: You want to use – 

 

[0:24:00.2] JH: I was joking, sorry. 

 

[0:24:01.9] RH: Use weight on objects. Things like pencil weight or weighted eating utensils or even just risk ways that will provide more feedback to the joints and muscles to help stabilize for improved midrange control. You could also practice just eating with utensils, cutting foods with fork and knife, bringing it your mouth, bringing a spoonful of soup to your mouth. 

 

[0:24:27.9] JH: You need such good midrange control for that. 

 

[0:24:30.2] RH: Yes, so just practicing that and incorporating it into play not necessarily just at the table during meal times. 

 

[0:24:37.8] JH: Yes, so then also using visual feedback can be helpful. If we’re using that example of bringing a spoon to your mouth, have a mirror at the table with you so that you child can see what their body is doing. Again, this all relates back to body awareness and force modulation, understanding where the spoon is, where it needs to go, how it’s going to get there and just having that visual feedback can also help with that midrange control. 

 

[0:25:06.2] RH: Of course, a child’s occupation is play so we are going to work on the skill through games. 

 

[0:25:12.3] JH: Oh my gosh, Suspend is such a good game. 

 

[0:25:16.8] RH: Yes, it is. Suspend, Jenga.

 

[0:25:20.3] JH: Yes. 

 

[0:25:22.0] RH: Stacking block towers is just the most classic simple way to work on it but also hammering games. Using a hammer to break ice or hammer a nail into a potato, things like that. 

 

[0:25:38.1] JH: All good things. 

 

[0:25:39.2] RH: All good things. 

 

[0:25:40.1] JH: Such great things. 

 

[0:25:41.3] RH: Yes.

 

[0:25:42.1] JH: All right, hopefully this episode was informative and helpful.

 

[0:25:49.6] RH: Not too obnoxious having the child in the background. 

 

[0:25:53.6] JH: No, everyone loves babies, right? 

 

[0:25:57.5] RH: Yeah. All right friends, thank you so much for your questions. This was actually a question that we got from someone who had recommended us doing a podcast on body awareness. 

 

[0:26:07.8] JH: We are podcast DJ’s. 

 

[0:26:09.3] RH: We are.

 

[0:26:09.9] JH: Yes. 

 

[0:26:10.2] RH: Ask and you shall receive.

 

[0:26:11.6] JH: Yes, unless it’s something we already talked about of course but if we haven’t talked about it, let us know and we’re going to do it. 

 

[0:26:18.3] RH: Okay friends, thank you for being here and we will chat with you next week. 

 

[END OF DISCUSSION]

 

[0:26:25.6] RH: Thank you so much for listening to All Things Sensory by Harkla. If you want more information on anything we mentioned in the show, head over to harkla.co/podcast to get all of the show notes.

 

[0:26:36.5] JH: We always have the show notes and links plus full transcripts to make following along as easy as possible for everyone. If you have follow-up questions, the best place to ask those is in the comments on the show notes or message us on our Instagram account, which is @harkla_family. If you just search Harkla, you’ll find us. 

 

[0:26:56.1] RH: Like we mentioned before, our podcast listeners get 10% off of their first order at Harkla, whether it is for one of our digital courses, one of our sensory swings, the discount code “sensory” will save you 10%. That code is “sensory.” Head over to harkla.co/sensory to use that code right now so you don’t forget. 

 

[0:27:18.6] JH: We’re so excited to work together to help create confident kids all over the world and work towards a more happier healthier life. 

 

[0:27:26.2] RH: All right, we’ll talk to you guys next week. 

 

[0:27:28.1] JH: Just a friendly reminder: This is general information related to occupational therapy, pediatrics and sensory integration. We do not know you or your child, therefore we do not know any specific needs. Therefore, you should always refer back to your pediatrician and occupational therapist for more information.

 

BORING, BUT NECESSARY LEGAL DISCLAIMERS

While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.


This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC and Jessica Hill, COTA/L both Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA). They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. Rachel and Jessica specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Rachel and Jessica are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Rachel and Jessica, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.


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