Early years of life are of particular importance for our life. They form the very foundations on which lay our future development. For instance transitions from the lying position to upright position, which happen during the first 12 months of life, are central for development. During this neuromotor uprighting process, it is crucial that in prone position the child reaches the hand-pelvic support; and in the supine position the eye-hand-mouth-foot interaction. Why are these positions important? The spine and the trunk reach their greatest extension in the prone position, and their greatest flexion and stretching in the supine position. PäPKi® developmental and learning therapy for infants and toddlers focuses on movements in these opposing directions. When the child uses these postures playfully and tests his body and his environment, he follows a smooth development towards the uprighting process. S/he learns independent turning around, coordinated crawling and finally walking with security and full balance. This is not only a practice of moving independently, but also a finding his/her way in the environment. Moreover, with each new position or movement, child’s corresponding senses are also attuned to one another. There is a sensory integration of the vestibular, proprioceptive, interoceptive, tactile, visual and auditory stimuli. This forms the foundation for child’s future active life.
Small deviations may appear in some infants. For instance some infants may only prefer the supine or prone position, focus his/her gaze on nearby objects only, or being in an identical posture. When we attempt to help these children to correct such deviations we find encounter a great resistance from the child. Typically, these children do not like to move and want to keep their comfort zone intact. These observations indicate a difficulty to rise and stay in the upright position against the gravity, in other words, to follow the complete neuromotor uprighting. This being said, certainly these children will learn to walk, even though they skip (the crucial) crawling phase. Nonetheless, they will have gaps in their neuromotor and sensory foundations, which are key in dealing with everyday activities and school tasks later in life. Hence, these gaps resurface in different shapes and require a special focus and work.
So a meaningful educational support during the infancy and early childhood sees the child being supported enabling him/her to deal with his body and his environment, which in turn is enabled by an optimal neuromotor uprighting process. Along the way deviations may arise, but they can also be spotted and treated rather quickly. Here comes in the importance of parents’ conscious approach to neuromotor development of their child. Parents play a central role in their child’s development, since they are the one who can notice if their children are drawn to passivity.
The PäPKi® development and learning therapy come into play at this point: gaps are diagnosed and explained to the parents, so that they understand the relationships between physical immaturity and developmental abnormalities. PäPKi® shows parents practical gymnastic exercises targeting the compensation of the physical deficits. Parents can practice these exercises with their child in everyday life and playfully, and reduce the deviations. One thing is sure: the knowledge and awareness of physical and cognitive relationships are key in the handling of educational tasks of children.
For a personal diagnosis or better understanding of the PäPKi approach, please contact me directly: Tel 0792403029.