Building Pre-Ambulatory Skills with Innovative Adaptive Equipment
The development that happens in the stages leading up to walking is just as important as when a child begins to take steps independently. In fact, it’s all the stages that build to walking that lay the strong foundation for the postural control and balance that is required once a child is up on two feet. Children start by developing what therapists call pre-ambulatory skills. Good core and extremity strength, adequate mobility of joints, balance and equilibrium reactions, and reciprocal coordination (the ability to perform alternating movement patterns with opposite sides of the body). To put it all together we need body awareness and motor memory that may eventually make the process of walking seem automatic and something that is done almost without thought.
The stage of creeping on hands and knees is especially important due to the dynamic weight bearing and weight shifting that occurs through both arms and legs. This process gives feedback to the brain which can then begin to recognize where the body is in space. Strength and endurance of muscles increases as the child begins full body reciprocal movement patterns that will later be used in walking, bike riding and swimming. But when a child struggles to crawl
, assisting that child can be back breaking work. Adaptivemall.com carries Tumble Forms Adjustable Crawler and Redbarn Enterprises Creepster Crawler to assist with this process. If you are looking for a product that breaks the process down even further, Adaptivemall.com offers seated Pre-Gait Trainers that allow the child to focus on functional reciprocal stepping movements alone while maneuvering from place to place in a sitting position. Pre-Gait Trainers- Walking is just a Few Steps Away!
Checking in with your child’s therapist is always a good place to start when considering the purchase of products to help children meet their developmental goals. If you have further questions about the adaptive equipment you see in this category, we have an experienced OT and PT on our staff to help answer your questions. Our therapists can help you find an appropriate fit and accessories… to start please click SIZING HELP
and complete a simple form, or call us toll free at (800) 371-2778.