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Why bouncing is good for eating skills

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When talking about oral-motor skills and eating, you don’t usually think immediately of bouncing on a ball as a treatment technique. Well, think again. Bouncing on a large therapy ball, either supported or unsupported, stimulates muscle co-contractions. These muscle contractions are all over the body to achieve stability while bouncing, so the bouncing on the ball is increasing trunk strength, shoulder stability, and head and neck control. Many people will also stabilize with their jaw, which increases jaw strength. Any improved strength in the trunk, shoulders, head, neck, and jaw will have a positive affect on oral strength and feeding/eating ability.

bouncing on ball web

Materials:

  • Therapy ball

Skills:

  • Trunk strength
  • Shoulder strength
  • Neck and head strength
  • Jaw strength
  • Eating skills
  • Upper extremity strength

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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2 replies
  1. Amie Darboe
    Amie Darboe says:

    can you please give me a detail explanation of how to use the ball, because my son don’t have a good head control and also his body posture is not good.

    Reply
    • Tonya
      Tonya says:

      Every child is different, so you need to be careful and do only what your child is capable of. Go slowly and build up his ability slowly.

      Reply

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