What is Astronaut Training?
Astronaut Training is a therapy program designed to have a direct impact on the vestibular, visual, and auditory systems. It incorporates the activation of different channels of the vestibular systems.
Wait. What is the Vestibular System?
The vestibular system is a very complex system, supporting many levels of central nervous system function. It is located in the inner ear and detects balance, changes in position, and movement. It is a gravitational reference point which anchors head and body position in space. It also integrates movement with all sensations.
How Does it Work?
This space-based program involves having the child sit in a one-point aerial yoga hammock (or astronaut rotary board, but we prefer hammocks) and spinning him in various positions. By doing this, the therapist learns whether the child is over- or under-sensitive to motion (by examining eye movement after spinning), and then uses spinning to train the eyes/body for a more coordinated response to motion and visual stimulus.
Is it Beneficial?
Astronaut Training helps children improve their ability to self-regulate especially when there is vestibular dysfunction. It can also enhance spatial awareness and general movement abilities. In a nutshell, it helps with sensory organization for moving, looking and listening.
At Mindful Child, we use the aerial hammock as a prop to assist with sensory integration. The aerial hammock is incorporated in the Astronaut Program instead of a rotary board to increase engagement. The more engaged a child is with an activity, the more likely they are to benefit from it. If you would like more information regarding how we help children with sensory processing e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up an initial assessment today.