Sensory Motor Activities
The foundation of growth, development, and learning in a child starts with sensory and motor interaction with the world. The brain is built from the bottom up and this starts with movement and sensory exploration. Sensory stimulation and feedback drive the brain, but the motor system drives sensory stimulation—you can’t have one without the other. This is at the core of everything we do at Brain Balance Achievement Centers. It is crucial to improve motor skills, sensory detection, and processing before any higher learning, behavioral or academic changes can truly happen.
In almost every case, children who have been assessed with a developmental deficit in one or more areas are the kids who struggle with learning or behavioral issues. Invariably, these kids are the ones with inadequately developed sensory and motor systems. We often see they are uncoordinated, clumsy, and awkward with their gait. Motor activities involve a number of different skills, including:
- Muscle tone, strength, and coordination
- Rhythm and timing
- Bilateral coordination
- Gross and fine-motor skills
- Primitive and postural reflexes
- Eye-muscle balance and coordination
- Vestibular balance and posture
Much like underdeveloped motor skills, the same applies when there are atypical sensory deficits — smell, touch, vision, hearing, and balance. No sensory function works in isolation. All the senses are dependent on other sensory functions, which are dependent on a baseline and acceptable level of development. Engaging our senses is a powerful way to engage our brain. At BB we engage the senses:
- Vestibular (inner ear)
- Proprioception (the ability to know where one’s body is in space)
- Balance and spatial perception
At Brain Balance Achievement Centers, we assess all of these skills with standardized and accepted testing and we quantify them by grade, age, or functional level. Our program then works to integrate sensory input and strengthen motor skills through the frequency and duration of activities.