TIP of the WEEK: Vestibular Deficits

September 28, 2012

Have you noticed that our kids often have difficulty with balance, gait, sureness of foot on uneven terrain? It is likely caused by a deficit of their vestibular sense. Inner ear development begins in infancy when babies move their heads back and forth as they are experiencing the world. Babies with PWS often do not do this because of low muscle tone and therefore this very important sense does not develop properly. What we see as a result is hesitation of movement, poor posture, fatigue, agitation and poor balance. The good news is that it’s not too late to fix this. To aid in vestibular development try the following exercises daily:

  • Bend your head forward slowly then tilt it back with your eyes open. Turn your head side to side, slowly and with your eyes open.
  • In a seated position turn your shoulders side to side and up and down. Bend down as if you’re picking something up off of the floor.
  • Go bowling. This requires you to stand up straight and then bend forward repeatedly.
  • Any activity that requires spinning- sit and spin for little ones and merry go rounds or other playground equipment built for older kids and adults.
  • Yoga or any of the martial arts are also great.
  • Jumping from object to object, this can be as simple as putting colored circles on the floor. Hopscotch works well too.
  • Swinging, especially if you tip your head forward and backwards while doing it.

As with any new exercise routine, consult your doctor or OT before starting something new.
Good luck and let us know the results!

Submitted by:
Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

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