Improving O&M Techniques Through Proprioception Facilitation Sandra Rosen, Ph.D.
Did you ever wonder why the correct and consistent performance of O&M skills is so hard to teach sometimes? It has to do with the basic nature of O&M skills.
These skills are sensorimotor in nature, with the most critical sensory element being proprioception.
Yet, we don't teach them through proprioceptive learning channels. Instead, we teach O&M skills using a combination of modeling and verbal description, followed by verbal feedback of correct or incorrect performance of the skill. Hence the instructional mismatch...we are not maximizing an important sensory channel for learning O&M skills.
Research has shown that:
Language and motor skills are not processed in the same part of the brain.
Having to decode verbal input and then translate it into motor performance increases cognitive demands on the brain and on the sensorimotor system.
So the answer is . . .
. . . we need to teach sensorimotor skills by directly facilitating activity in the sensorimotor areas of the brain responsible for a specific motion or activity.
- an additional item for your toolbox
What is proprioception?
The sensory information that enables one to identify the position of body parts in relation to one another.
It is used to describe the sensory information that contributes to the sense of position and movement.
Is Proprioception really such a big deal?
Perhaps the student has a physical reason why the performance of a skill must be modified or cannot be performed in the standard manner.
The fact is, however, that poor proprioceptive awareness is a leading cause of poor O&M skills.
Why do congenitally blind students have decreased proprioception?
Vision plays a vital role in sensory integration, especially in the first year of life.
Also, blind children don’t move as much as sighted children. Without vision and sufficient movement, children have difficulty fine-tuning proprioceptive awareness.
Signs of decreased proprioceptive awareness
(e.g., unaware that the hand is not centered or that the cane arc is too wide)
(Difficulty conceptualizing what the body needs to do in order to move in a specific way)
(e.g., Unable to isolate wrist motion from arm motion when performing Touch Technique)
(e.g., tends to perform motions in an all-or-none manner, rather than with controlled effort or force)
Sample signs of decreased proprioceptive awareness specific to O&M
Protective arm techniques and other techniques show a "slow slipping" during performance
Increased arm motion in cane technique
Difficulty detecting drop-offs with cane
Traveler performs better when looking at the cane or extremity
Uneven or inconsistent arc width
High arc when performing the two-point touch technique
Slow response to information from the cane when it contact objects in the environment.
What is Proprioceptive Facilitation?
a technique designed specifically for use by O&M professionals to teach O&M skills more effectively by facilitating proprioceptive awareness.
Based on Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, a therapeutic approach used by physical therapists to facilitate the development/return of motor skills impaired due to brain injury
So, what’s the first step??
As in all things, we will begin with Assessment!
Identify the element of cane technique or other activity that is being performed inefficiently or incorrectly.
Identify which position or motion needs to be corrected
Identify the joint at which the position or motion occurs
Using the technique you will learn in the workshop, identify and confirm specific proprioceptive problems related to the O&M concern.
The next step is . . . Proprioceptive Facilitation
Here's where the magic happens! This is what you will learn in the workshop
SOMA Proprioceptive Facilitation Workshop
Saturday, December 10 SOMA will have an all-day workshop where you will learn how to assess and provide Proprioceptive Facilitation.
The objectives are that participants will learn:
the connection between proprioceptive awareness and student ability to both learn O&M techniques and to develop self-monitoring skills
how to analyze problems in performance of O&M techniques and to identify related proprioceptive deficits
techniques to improve student performance of O&M techniques by facilitating specific proprioceptive skills that underly each.
Preparation for the workshop
An ounce of preparation
a ton of learning and fun!
Before coming to the workshop:
Memorize the Terminology - we will be using these terms all day long.
The quiz will have 10 questions focused on the terminology, joint motions, and precautions that you'll need to know to be prepared for the workshop.
If you miss more than 1 question, you'll get a message explaining what you need to review before taking it again, and you'll have another chance to pass it.
If you fail the second time, you'll need to contact Dona Sauerburger
to find out what you need to do to pass. When you pass, you will have earned one hour of ACVREP credit, which will be added to your SOMA certificate.
contact Dona Sauerburger to request a code to take the quiz