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In the previous post I introduced the different ways of using the virtual environment, and offered suggestions on how to use accessories to substitute the Timocco motion sensors.
The intention is to allow the therapist to be creative and to use the means at the clinic while using the virtual game. Previously, I referred to accessories as a replacement for the sensors, here I will be talking about using other therapeutic props in order to enhance the activity.
Since we mostly work with the use of hand movements with Timocco, one might think about combining props for lower limb training. For example, the child can stand on the vestibular plate during the activity or sit on a bolster. The child can also stand on a balance board or an air cushion and, of course, sit on a chair or on a therapy ball. You can assist the child to stand on a stool, thus making sure he is aware of the space in which he works, the boundaries of his body, and his leg movements. The child can play in different positions, such as knee standing, Knight position (due – toes), or standing with one foot on a ball in order to improve balance, core muscle strength and posture.
Similarly, if we want to strengthen the shoulder belt and arms, it is recommended to put weights on the child’s hands in order to increase resistance against gravity. Another option is to stretch a rubber band between the child’s hands, thus increasing resistance when pulling the hands apart.
When playing Timocco with the legs, you can give the child a stick to hold with both hands at shoulder level, thus helping maintain balance and working the hand muscles at the same time. Similarly, when useing arm weights, one can use leg weights for extra resistance.
Needless to say, the therapist will match the therapeutic tools according to the child’s abilities and purpose of the treatment.
When the activity is carried out at the child’s home (in accordance to the guidance of the therapist) the parent can use simple accessories that are available in every house. Instead of standing with both feet on the ground, one can use a large pillow and let the child stand on it during the activity. In this way the child will be required to stabilize the body on an unstable surface and thereby strengthen the stabilizing muscles and improve one’s balance. Same as the clinic, at home, you can help the child to place one ball on the foot (football / basketball), to challenge balance and posture. If you want to strengthen muscles and have no hand/ feet weights, weights can be improvised by filling socks with beans / marbles / stones (depending on the weight you want to achieve). You can define the child’s space of activity by placing a rope around his feet (like a hoop), let him stand on a stool or guide him to play when he is standing in different positions.