Pilates for Children with Sensory-Motor Disorders
The application of Pilates-based exercise for children is not common, but extremely useful. The youngest child I have used the Reformer with is 4 years old. Size is an issue and the standard equipment must be adapted to accommodate “little people”. The benefit of the supine position is that once out of gravity, children who have difficulty maintaining their postural alignment vs. gravity can move with greater ease and control on the Reformer. The resistance provides propriocepive and kinesthetic input to the child so they have greater body awareness and thus, more controlled, coordinated movements. The concept of core strength and stabilization is critical for children and adults with any neuromuscular or tonal (muscle tone) disorder. Providing alignment, resistance and assistance for difficult movement assists in learning new movement patterns.
Offering children cutting edge techniques that have been used primarily for dancers and athletes gives them a sense of importance, confidence and willingness to rise to the challenge offered…and it’s FUN!