Many of our students and individuals on the spectrum seek and “crave” proprioceptive input, also known as deep pressure input. Some common ways to provide deep pressure include “bear hugs,” joint compression, engaging in heavy work activities, weight bearing on extremities, or being rolled in a tight blanket and weighted blankets and/or clothing. These deep pressure activities and strategies help ground our students, increasing self-regulation and body awareness.
Here at Ädelbrook we strive to increase the student’s independence in every way. This means providing and teaching our students different ways that they can provide themselves with deep pressure input. The steam roller machine is designed to provide deep pressure input that the students are able to control themselves. Students crawl through the sets of rollers and can adjust the pressure exerted through tension springs. Our students can start their day with the steam roller machine, and are able to use it throughout the day as needed.
The scooter and ramp are another great therapeutic piece of equipment we have here at Adelbrook. Like the steam roller this piece of equipment provides extended amounts of therapeutic benefit for our students: it provides proprioceptive and vestibular input. The vestibular system is found in the inner ear and is affected by movement. Vestibular input provides our body with information about whether or not we are moving with or against gravity, moving quickly or slowly, or being still, as well as what direction we are going. The scooter board and ramp provides that vestibular input and also provides upper body and core strengthening, righting reactions, improving balance, postural control, visual motor skills, overall alertness, and regulation. This is also available every day throughout the day to our students.
Kelci Calhoun, COTA