Low muscle tone is a common problem among children on the Autism spectrum and others with neurological or developmental conditions. Some of the common struggles for these kids include muscles that are loose, lack resistance and are difficult to control. This can make routine tasks a struggle, and kids affected may even tire easier than others due to the physical effort required for activity. If your child is suffering from this condition, there are a few things you can do to help. Here are some tips for physical therapy and other activities that can improve muscle tone over time.
Building Activity Spaces at Home
Set up several areas in the house, each with a focus on a different strength-building activity. Think about the specific successes and struggles that your child is having, and build areas that will utilize those successes while building more strength in the problem areas. For example, a child who has developed a good reach, but can't pull themselves up from a sitting position may thrive with a rope-pull type of structure built with pulleys.
You can also make use of things you already have around the house, including watering cans and kitchen supplies. For more extensive work, you may want to invest in some physical therapy supplies, like grip-strength equipment and a balance ball.
Setting Aside Playground Time
Most kids take the playground for granted, but for children struggling with low muscle tone, it can be an exhausting experience. Make the most of your playground time with your child by considering the muscle-building benefits. For example, let your child jump and run on the playground structures, because these movements target the larger muscle groups with strength and toning. Also, short spurts of exercise on things like swings, climbing walls and see-saws are also great for focusing on specific muscle areas and coordination.
Making Physical Therapy Appointments
One of the most beneficial things you can do for a child with low muscle tone is to schedule routine appointments with a physical therapist. These professionals can target routine therapy to help improve not only muscle strength, but also posture and coordination. This is usually done through the use of things like aquatic therapy, massage and resistance bands.
You may even be provided with some exercises to do at home between appointments. These exercises will be designed to focus on the muscle groups the therapist is working on, because it helps to reinforce that in-therapy effort. Things like ankle and bracelet weights can be helpful too, but only in light weight ranges.
Your child doesn't have to spend their whole life struggling with low muscle tone. The more proactive you are about building a care team and providing strengthening options, the greater the chances are that he or she can improve. Companies like Advanced Physical Therapy can help with other strength-building questions for kids with low muscle tone.Share