Q: Hi, I’m working with a high-functioning 4 year old with cerebral palsy on improving daily functioning and social interaction. He is able to function independently – he can stand and move around without any support and is mostly dealing with difficulties in balance and coordination – how should I use Timocco to help him?
A: Based on your description and because of the child’s young age, I would focus on developing hand-eye coordination, an understanding of cause and effect, body awareness, internalization of new motion patterns (motor learning) and primary attention functions.
Typically young children with CP (ages 3-5) need an environment that isn’t visually overwhelming and is free of any overwhelming stimulation so I would recommend starting with the cause and effect games which provide free and random movement.
Usually I start with the “star trail” or “photo album” for kids with similar abilities to those you describe (you can find those two games and more by using the “skill” filter when choosing a game). Depending on your treatment goals and the abilities of the child, the child can play while sitting or standing.
I would recommend placing the child on a Bolster while they are playing. You (or the parent) can then sit behind the child to show them the correct movement required to play the game and at the same time challenge their balance.
I would also strongly recommend customizing and adjusting the games to the child’s range of motion, so you can ensure the games aren’t frustrating for the child but rather challenging and fun.
Hope this helps!
Sarit Tresser, OT
Ask Sarit: Sarit Tresser, founder of Timocco, shares her answers on the questions she gets from fellow therapists