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How doing helicopter spins can help your child learn better

I'm sure you're quite familiar with our five senses, right?


But you know what... there are actually two more extra senses. Shocking?!


Well, maybe not that shocking - I'm pretty sure you've seen or heard of the "sixth" sense...

Ha! Yap, that's the movie about ghosts... but we're not going there.


In this article, I'm talking about another type of sense - and we'll discuss one.


Ready?


The Vestibular Sense... "huh? what's that?" - you say.


It's simply movement and balance sense, which gives us information about where our head and body are in space. It allows us to stay upright while we sit, stand, and walk.

If you are feeling dizzy during a roller coaster ride or when you suddenly stood up after sitting for a long time or lying in bed. Vestibular sense is whats causing all those giddiness.


It is located in our inner ear and it works like a gyroscope on your mobile phone. It sends the signal to our brain if our head is tilted sideways or backwards.


Motion sickness happens when the receptors receive conflicting signals from the inner ear, eyes and sensory receptors.


Sample Vestibular Behaviors:

- Excessive Blinking

- Spurts of running

- Rolling or moving head while sitting still

- Appears to be in constant motion

- Difficulty sitting still

- Sitting on his or her feet

- Rocking in place

- Making repetitious vocal sounds

- Difficulty paying attention


Whew! That's a long introduction. Now unto HELICOPTER SPINS (Because that's what it says in the title right?)


Here's the deal:


Helicopter spins makes the ear-fluid move rapidly inside the ear mechanism, and this helps grow new active cells in the part of the brain that develops the sense of balance and the “muscle-memory” needed for writing and reading. Spinning, tumbling, somersaulting and jungle gym exercises stimulate the vestibular system, the area controlling the balance.


Interesting right?! I know. And here's how you can get your child to do it.


Get your youngster to stand, with hands outstretched, and spin as fast as possible for 15 seconds. Say, “Stop and close your eyes. Keep your balance. Remain standing.” Stand still for 25 seconds until he no longer feels dizzy. Repeat five times, always spinning the same way each day. Repeat daily.










Caution: Make sure your child is not experiencing seizure or vertigo as this activity might trigger those conditions.


Special tip:

If your child is having difficulty in spinning, stand with him and help by grasping one hand and pulling it quickly to start to spin.


*Oh! One more interesting thing - Gymnastic exercises is credited as helping youngsters jump to the top 5 per cent in reading and writing tests.


#Vestibularsense #occupationaltherapy #specialneeds #sensoryintegration #grossmotorskills #handwriting


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