FAQ’S from the The Sensory Integration Workshop : Beyond the Basics Workshop Featuring Wii-HAB
Monday, May 9th, 2011
On Wednesday March 23, 2011, POTS hosted an exciting, innovative parent workshop that featured home program ideas and Wii-hab for sensory integration. The dynamic, interactive workshop was presented by Gershon Kravetz, an occupational therapist who has been working at POTS for over 10 years, our director, Dr. Chaye Lamm Warburg, and occupational therapy student Ariela Warburg. Workshop participants were treated to a variety of fun, creative ways to incorporate sensory integration techniques into their childrens’ sensory diets, and learned how to adapt Wii games in order to support specific therapeutic goals.
Q: Why do you use the Wii in sensory integration therapy?
A: The Wii is cool. It is an age appropriate captivating tool that many children are highly motivated to use. It is so engaging that children do not even realize how hard they are working, which makes it a great tool for building strength and endurance.
One of the features that makes the Wii so attractive to therapists as a treatment modality is that it is easily adaptable for children of different ages and levels of functioning. From a sensory perspective, the Wii taps into several sensory systems and provides vestibular, proprioceptive, auditory, and visual feedback. It can also be used for sensory modulation and careful selection of activities can facilitate calming, organization, or alerting. Children can work on bilateral coordination, increase body awareness and improve praxis.
Q: Can you describe different ways to adapt Wii games?
A: Alter your child’s position. Games can be played sitting on a chair, standing, on hands and knees (on all fours in a crawling position), or in a tall kneel position.
Games that do not require the use of the Wii Fit board can be done while jumping on a mini-trampoline, bouncing on a therapy ball, standing on a balance board, or balancing on a BOSU.
To enhance proprioceptive input and/or to build strength, have your child wear weighted ankle or wrist weights. To make the Boxing game more realistic and ramp up the proprioceptive input, wear real boxing gloves and punch a pillow.
Q: How can the Wii be incorporated into a sensory diet?
A: Wii games can be used to add variety to your child’s home program/sensory diet. For example, children who benefit from jumping on a bed or trampoline for alerting can do the Basic Run Plus while jumping on a mini-trampoline. Children who need down-regulating for calming may benefit from the stretching and yoga poses on the Strength Training segment of the Wii Fit Plus.
Blog written by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR & Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR, Director of POTS