Each Week OT expert, Sarit Tresser will be giving an in-depth insightful analysis into the various ways Health Games aid both children and adults with disabilities. Tune in to receive first-hand input from a professional in the field of child development
DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) is a developmental disorder that affects the child’s performance in activities for daily living such as, leisure and learning.
Motor difficulties experienced by children will affect their social participation and will often bring poor confidence and avoidance of social activities that involve movement, such as court yard activities, climbing on playground facilities, etc.
One of the main goals in working with these children will be bring exposure to positive motor experiences and the enhancement of the child’s confidence in his physical environment. From a place of enjoyment in motor activity we shall work with the child on motor planning, awareness to the body’s boundaries and motor learning.
Occupational therapy treatment works on motor learning and the quality of movements, in a context considering the child’s challenges in everyday life.
Often children develop strict avoidance patterns that influence their social participation and their ability to cope with daily tasks (like morning activities, independence in clothing, etc.). Not once have these children found it difficult to cooperate in therapy and to handle the tasks presented to them by the therapist.
Kids of our time often play video games with various game consoles and spend hours with their friends with those games. A child with motor complications and difficulties in motor planning will often experience frustration in attempts to succeed in these games, which require high motor skill, agility, lightness, precision and coordination at a high level. Some children insist on trying again and again and will persist until they succeed, but most of them give up after trying once or twice and choose to turn to other activities. Sometimes it will have social consequences and will have an influence on their participation in social activities.
A virtual environment that is adapted to the child can increase confidence in his / her movements and provide a positive experience in a fun and meaningful activity.
The Timocco game environment is designed so that you can adjust the difficulty levels and the gaming features to the child’s abilities in order to give a taste of success and increase sense of ability.
The game gives the child a sense of control over his environment and teaches him that he can control the activity using body movements. Because you can rate the difficulty level of the game, the therapist can start simple and basic work aimed at understanding the relationship between the hand movements and the game on the screen. The control the therapist or parent has over the activity will allow the child to go through the process of learning at his own pace, and build a better emotional basis for further work. Once the child feels confident in his abilities in the game, you can challenge him and raise the level of difficulty gradually depending on the progress made.
Beyond the child’s emotional coping, increasing his confidence and improved ability to cope with the difficulty, one can work on a variety of motor skills using Timocco.
I will cover more on this area in next week’s edition, “Virtual Reality for Children with DCD, Part 2 – Empowerment and Self Confidence.