By physiotherapist Hannah Harboe
Children need movement, and movement helps keep them alert and attentive. But sometimes, a child's movements are so erratic and sustained that they can find it hard to maintain focus and concentrate on the most important things.
Motoric unrest can also make contact and cooperation difficult. When a child has balance problems, their ability to focus and be attentive is affected. Teaching them to keep their balance can help to control their motoric unrest and maintain focus.
When the brain registers that we are losing our balance, our conscious mind is activated. This is the part of the brain in which our attention and focus are located.
Concentrating on keeping balance requires energy. That is why exercises that require a sense of balance can only be kept up for short periods. They are not a means that can be used for extended periods to suppress motoric unrest. But exercises can be used to give a child a positive feeling that unrest can be tamed, whilst concentration and attention can be maintained for short periods.
Air board is designed to challenge a child's sense of balance at exactly the level the child has reached. This can be done either by adjusting the amount of air in the Air board, or by using either the flat, coloured side or the soft, round side.
Adam is 5 and a happy, energetic boy. His motor skills are good, but as the activities involving them become more complex, with greater demands on focus, repetition and maintaining the activity over a period of time, he and his parents found that he gave up easily and his motoric development was declining. This becomes particularly evident, when he has to use fine-motor skills, such as using utensils to eat or using crayons.