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Tag: low muscle tone

Reflex Integration

Reflex Integration

What are reflexes?

Reflexes are automatic responses that occur out of someone’s control in response to an external stimulus or facilitated movement.  Reflexes are necessary automatic movements that are essential for survival as a baby and are what helps a baby develop movement. 

Each reflex is present and integrated at different parts of development.  An example is the rooting reflex, when the baby’s cheek is stroked the baby will turn their head in the direction of the stimulus and open their mouth automatically. This reflex allows the baby to find their mother’s breast and is essential for feeding.  This reflex will usually integrate around 4 months of age once the infant starts to develop volitional control and has learned how to respond IND when they smell, feel and see mother’s breast.  

Unintegrated Reflexes

Reflexes can become problematic when they are delayed or unintegrated. In the case of the rooting reflex, if it is not present at birth it can impact IND feeding response or if present after feeding can impact speech, eating, and response to facial touching.  Common things you might see in your child if this reflex is not integrated include trouble pronouncing words, difficult breaking thumb sucking, messy eatering, or has poor tolerance to kissing or touching their face. 

Unintegrated Reflex Red Flags

There are many reflexes and each has a vital role and can have a huge impact on development if delayed or not integrated at the right time.  Some of the red flags to look for include

  • difficulty or delayed gross motor skills
  • difficulty or delayed fine motor skills
  • emotional lability
  • poor tolerance to new situations
  • difficulty with learning/writing
  • poor vision
  • poor attention
  • bed wetting
  • difficulty with potty training
  • abnormal muscle tone
  • poor tolerance to certain movements.

Next Steps

If you have any of these concerns you should try physical and/or occupational therapy to perform movements that are designed to help with reflex integration.  In addition, your therapist will be able to work on the functional or emotional skills your child is having difficulty with to improve their IND and participation.

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Aqua Therapy

Pediatric Aqua Therapy

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Aqua Therapy Questions?

Give us a call anytime at (708)478-1820 or schedule a free screening or consultation below.

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What is Aqua Therapy?

Aqua Therapy is a fun way to develop your child’s motor skills! The unique properties of water enhance therapeutic activities. The use of water in therapy can:

  • Provide a reduced gravity environment to help children explore and practice movements
  • Develop skills they are not yet able to perform on land
  • Provide resistance to active movement through all planes of motion
  • Facilitate gains in strength for all major muscle groups.
  • Increase tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive input that enhances body awareness and motor learning

Benefits of Aqua Therapy?

  • Increase in mobility and range of motion
  • Balance and coordination
  • Increase in trunk stability and postural alignment
  • Perceptual and spatial awareness
  • Muscular strength and endurance
  • Joint mobility
  • Muscle flexibility
  • Head & trunk control
  • Blood supply to muscles
  • Attention span & sensory motor integration
  • Respiratory rate
  • Circulation
  • Symmetry, strength and endurance
  • Decrease in pain
  • Decrease in muscle spasms
  • Decrease in abnormal tone and rigid muscles
  • Decrease in joint compression
  • Stress and tension release
  • The psychological benefits include improved self esteem, confidence, and motivation!

Your Aqua Therapists

BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy’s aqua therapists are licensed physical and occupational therapists with experience in aquatic pediatric therapy. They have attended aquatic therapy courses, and have received certificates in Water Safety and CPR. They utilize aquatic and landbased techniques, including myofascial release, neuro-developmental treatment, sensory motor integration and functional motor skills in their treatment sessions with children who have orthopedic, neurologic and/or sensory motor challenges.

Aqua Therapy Locations and Materials

What do I need to bring to my child’s Aqua Therapy session?

  • Towels Lock for locker (optional)
  • Bottle of water
  • Water diapers or rubber pants (for incontinence)
  • Non-skid slippers or water shoes

Locations:

Getting Started With Aquatic Therapy

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Still not sure? Schedule a free consultation here

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Great Feedback from Great Families

Our son received physical therapy both in the office and in the pool for his torticollis. While we were incredibly happy to have our son ‘graduate,’ we were also so sad to say goodbye to our amazing physical therapist. She was dedicated, thorough, and caring; we are so grateful for this positive experience!”