Proprioceptive movement

by Jane
(Chicago Il)

Our 6 year old son Charlie will jump back and forth on the couch for hours. He "needs to do this each day immediately after school and if he is unable to, will pace (stomping back and forth)for a lengthy amount of time (30 minutes or so). He is limp (very cuddley) ,has MANY food issues. He twirls and pulls his hair when concentrating and chews on all of his collars. He has even bitten off all of the buttons on a school shirt.

Charlie does make friends at this point, communicates well and is highly imaginative. He has great verbal skills and is reading well. He is unable to tie his shoes, ride a bike, and is very reluctant to snap or button.

Should we get him help or will he out-grow what I have always called his "quirkiness"?

Any feedback would be appreciated

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Jun 15, 2011
Sounds familiar
by: Anonymous

Hi - I read your post and I must say your 6 year old sounds very much like my son. My son is 6 1/2 and can't seem to sit still for long and is having trouble learning to ride a bike. He avoids snaps/buttons and has trouble tying his shoes. I would describe him as clumsy and he is having a LOT of trouble learning to write. I had him evaluated by an occupational therapist and am glad I did. He lacks core strength and control which will ultimately make it hard for him to have muscle control to sit still but also makes it harder do the finer things like write, snap, button. Also, he has challenges with proprioception which is why the bike riding is difficult. So we take him to therapy weekly and in only 8 weeks I have noticed an improvement. Also, the OT recommended having his vision tested - not only for how clearly he sees but also how his eyes team, how his eyes track across the page and down the page ... challenges in this area which will impact his reading. Well, we did and found out he needs vision therapy to help his eyes team. So while the therapy is daunting, I feel we are on a path to helping him and I am glad I had him evaluated. I wish you the best.

May 04, 2011
I agree
by: AJ

I agree with the previous post. The more educated you are and the more resources and tools you have and can learn to implement, will only help him and all of you.

I have a son who craves the proprioceptive input daily as well. And straight to the couch he goes as soon as he walks in the door from school. :) For us, climbing furniture is a no - no. I have to constantly redirect him when he heads for the sofa. We have made adjustments, have put a swing in his room, a trampoline out back, we make obstacle courses (which involve specific thinking factors and floor time on hands, knees, etc. with a lot of movement and heavy lifting, etc.) a lot after school which helps him unwind and get the organized input he needs.

We have greatly benefited from seeking out an OT who could not only be a wealth of ideas and resources but also a great sounding board for our concerns about our son, and you won't typically get that with a regular pediatrician.

In time he can learn and will learn to self regulate and learn what behaviors are and are not okay. I'm sure he's bright, funny, sweet and very energetic! He's blessed to have a mother who is tuned in to know that there are needs and is willing to seek answers and advocate for him. These kids need us! :)

There are all kinds of programs, books, therapies that can help with several of the issues you mentioned here. Play therapy, food therapy, activities to increase muscle tone and coordination and motor skills, listening therapy, emotional/social skills classes, etc. You are not alone! :)

If you would like to communicate further, email me

I would be happy to share some other resources we have benefited from. Good luck.

May 01, 2011
Quirky Kid
by: Anonymous

I would think it'd be a good idea to get all the right evaluations done so that you know what to expect. Then treat him like any other kid and help him to feel good about himself. Try to divert his attention to new stuff that you feel he can do. As he grows older show him gently but firmly that other kids don't chew off their collars and so on, and he will learn to adjust. He sounds like an intelligent kid and in time will find ways to cope, with your help.

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