Advanced Pediatric Therapies


Postural Control: Why It’s So Important for Your Child

on August 30, 2014
Postural Control is something we talk about alot at APT

Postural Control is something we talk about a lot at APT.  Here’s why.

In occupational therapy, we often use the term postural control.  You probably have a general idea what this means, but it refers to your child’s ability to maintain an upright position without support.  This can be in a variety of positions, and it provides the base of support for active and goal oriented movement in arms and legs.  When a child doesn’t have good postural control, it can be seen in multiple different ways.  A child may fidget or move non-stop in an attempt to close in on an elusive base of support.  Or, they might “w” sit in order to sit with support in order to play using their hands.  Or, they might bump into their friends frequently or roll or scoot.

A child who is constantly moving can be very distracted or inattentive.  Without even realizing it, they are trying to find the just right position.  A child who sits very still can experience lower arousal, actually losing  ability to interact with the world around her.

Here are some other ways that weakened postural control might present itself:

being in a slouched position frequently

leaning heavily on furniture or others

falling or tripping often

difficulty navigating playground equipment

scared or hesitant with roughhousing

Here are some activities which we all can use to help kids improve their postural control:

kids yoga


karate/martial arts

climbing on furniture

silly animal/insect walks

playful rough and tumble play

be an airplane!

wheelbarrow walks

many, many more…just ask!

Postural can be improved in a variety of ways that are fun and developmentally appropriate.  Ask your OT if you don’t know where to start.


photo from, some ideas from


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