by Katie Timp, OTR/L
As mentioned in the previous article, 26 Brain Gym movements are broken down into 3 areas of thinking:
- Organization/up and down movements: These exercises allow your child to center and align, assist in planning, creating order and lining items up. They also encourage relaxation, calming, and physical or emotional stabilization for sharing, playing, cooperating, and sensory memory.
- Focus/forward and back movements: These activities allow a child to release the tension they are holding to facilitate action to increase focus, understanding, expressing self, and taking initiative.
- Communication/left and right: These exercises cross midline and allow for increased sensorimotor coordination which leads to the information processing needed to read, write,http://mykinetickid.com/wp-admin/post-new.php listen and speak.
26 Brain Gym Movements are broken into 4 categories, based on the areas addressed above:
- Energy Exercises
- Deepening Attitudes
- Lengthening Activities
- Midline Movements
Why are each of these important?
Energy Exercises and Deepening Attitudes promote organization, stability and sensory memory. The Energy Exercises allow a child to feel their center of gravity while crossing midline from top to bottom or turning from left to right. These skills are important for reading, writing and arithmetic as the child relies on the ability to have a stable point of reference. The Deepening Attitudes allow a child to calm, relax and self-soothe when a stressful or anxious situation arises. When a child becomes stressed during difficult schoolwork activities, they can engage in these exercises to relax and calm their bodies.
Lengthening Activities are used to allow children who are sitting for a long period of time to release the tension and increase focus of an activity following an extended amount of time doing the same thing. These activities allow your child to focus while they are participating and engaging in higher-order thinking skills.
Midline Movements allow a child to increase the processing of information and establish sidedness, which is an essential element to schoolwork. A child’s ability to cross midline can sometimes be difficult and can directly impact their learning potential. These exercises allow both sides of the brain to work in tandem, which allows for optimal learning.
Through occupational therapy services at Kinetic Kids Inc, your child will have a session that incorporates all aspects and categories of the Brain Gym program, based on the needs of your child. You can sign your child up for individual sessions which will focus directly on the unique needs of your child or sign up for a group session that will use Brain Gym techniques while building social relationships!
“Brain Gym Teacher’s Edition”. By: Paul E. Dennison & Gail E Dennison. The companion guide to brain gym: simple activities for whole-brain learning.
Interested In Another Resource?
If you are interested in giving your child the tools he/she needs to begin another successful year of school and for future social situations, check out our guide on sensory strategies to try at home:
We hope this information proves useful . . . and just in time for the upcoming school year too!!
Until next time . . .