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Monday, November 1, 2010

BCLC series – Jumping and proprioception

We talk often about proprioception at Blind Children’s Learning Center.  It is such an important piece to Gavin’s awareness as he gets older.  Proprioception doesn’t come from one specific organ, but rather from the entire nervous system as a whole.   Its input comes from sensory receptors – nerves from inside the body rather that on the surface.  Visually impaired or blind individuals don’t have a good sense of their space perception.  This is very common.  It’s basically understanding their place in space.  This can be difficult without vision.  Proprioception is the sense of the orientation of one’s limbs in space.  Without proprioception, you wouldn’t be able to type at the keyboard and look at the screen – you would have to focus on your fingers to make sure they are doing what you want.  If you happen to be reading while eating, you would have to stop every time you would want to put food in your mouth, to judge the position and orientation of your hands.

The sense of position and movement of the limbs and the sense of muscular tension. The awareness of the orientation of the body in space and the direction, extent, and rate of movement of the limbs depend in part upon information derived from sensory receptors in the joints, tendons, and muscles. Information from these receptors, called proprioceptors, is normally integrated with that arising from vestibular receptors (which signal gravitational acceleration and changes in velocity of movements of the head), as well as from visual, auditory, and tactile receptors. Sensory information from certain proprioceptors, particularly those in muscles and tendons, need not reach consciousness, but can be used by the motor system as feedback to guide postural adjustments and control of well-practiced or semiautomatic movements such as those involved in walking.

As you can tell, there is a lot going on that we don’t even realize!  When you remove a sense, such as vision, spending time in certain areas can be crucial to development, and to reach a certain level of awareness.  Getting Gavin to understand his position in space, is something we work on, constantly.

Gavin loves to jump!  It is satisfying the vestibular stimulation that I often talk about, as well as providing him proprioception awareness.  Of course jumping to a cute little song, makes it even more fun.  You can hear his therapist towards the end talk about the importance of proprioception in relation to his joints.

 

4 comments:

  1. This is so incredibly cool! I thoroughly enjoy watching him get so excited. What a sweetheart.

    Hugs from TN xOxO
    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok, I just removed my last comment - in case your students read this! But I just replied to your email, Tammy. Thank you SO MUCH!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love it!! He is such a darling little boy.

    ReplyDelete
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