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Wobble Board - challenging motor experiences

by Denise @DEMAND in United Kingdom

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Unfortunately this project was not successful.

To research, develop, test our balance board to give hundreds, if not thousands of people the opportunity to learn vital movement skills

by Denise @DEMAND in United Kingdom

To research, develop & test our balance board to give hundreds, if not thousands of people the opportunity to learn vital movement skills. 

Recently, our team worked with Isaac a teenager who has autism and other motor learning and visual disabilities along with his Occupational Therapist, who was hatching a plan to improve Issac’s movement skills and confidence moving around in everyday life. 

Specifically for Isaac the balance boards available on the market aren’t long enough because he stands with a wide gait for stability. 

We worked with Isaac and his occupational therapist to design a balance board that was the perfect length for him to use comfortably.   We designed the rockers to be easily swapped out to give the flexibility of the rocking direction and difficulty of movement so that Isaac can gradually build on his skills and keep challenging his balance. 

The board is designed with high contrast colours on the edges of the board so Isaac can clearly see where to place his feet. The padded base makes the impact less harsh and dull the noise of the board rocking from side to side so the board can still be used in a therapy setting with lots of other people who may be sensitive to loud noises. 

“His physical and visual needs stop him from being involved in as many movement activities as he may want and like to. He has had very little fun or exploration of movement in his life due to his physical and visual difficulties. When he stands and rocks back and forth he beams and looks so happy from the movement he is experiencing. Using a balance board will give him extra movement feedback and may improve his overall vestibular system, and may very well have a knock-on effect with his learning abilities. Having a balance board he can use would improve his overall balance ability and enhance his core and leg strength meaning he will be able to carry out purposeful tasks with improved smooth and controlled movements ... plus he will have fun too!” I’saacs Occupational Therapist, Viv

Now we have a design that works for Isaac, we want to make the board available to many more people who could benefit. Because the rockers can be swapped, the board is very versatile, so it could well be suitable for a wide range of people including those recovering from a stroke or injury, and those with degenerative conditions such as MS to retain strength and balance. 

We will partner with 10 individuals who could benefit from using this balance board to test and refine the design, taking into account specific therapy needs of users with different disabilities. With insight from testing the board with different people we’ll be able to make the board available to everyone who needs it.

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