Do you know how many time a day I say, “Hold your head up!” I don’t even want to count. I say it all the time.
Tom often keeps his head down instead of holding it up like most people do. This is hard on his neck and back, and it’s not good for a growing child to hold this posture. Not all blind children have this issue, but it’s not uncommon either.
Tom has been in physical therapy since he was a baby. He has physical therapy in the pool once a week at school that he just loves. He is a water baby. He would stay in the bath tub until it got cold if I let him. His out of the pool therapy has often involved lots of movements and stretching that opened his body up and released the tension in his neck and shoulders. Tom has high tone to begin with so he really needs help to stay loose.
His early intervention physical therapist often helped Tom to stretch backwards and forwards on a big exercise ball. His occupational therapist used to put him on an exercise ball that was right next to his keyboard so he would have to raise up to reach the keys. Music is an excellent motivator for him! These days they are using water to motivate him and I’m sure the nice warm pool is good for his tense muscles.
His physical therapist at school and the physical therapy student working with her have been trying Kinesio tape on the back of Tom’s neck to improve his posture. Kinesio tape is often used by athletes. You have probably seen this brightly colored tape on gymnasts and swimmers. You can read more about Kinesio tape and how it’s used in the link from How Stuff Works.
They put a strip of Kinesio tape on the back of Tom’s neck to give him a physical reminder to hold his head up. They have been doing this for a couple of weeks and I think I see some improvement. Of course his physical therapist called me to see if I was OK with them trying this technique. I am always glad to give non-invasive ideas like this a try if they could help Tommy. Tommy has mentioned the tape, but he is very matter of fact and doesn’t seem bothered by it at all.
Any other kids working on posture and holding their head up? What strategies are you using besides constant reminders?