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Vestibular Input: Info & Activities

What is Vestibular Input?

Vestibular input is the sensation of any change in position, movement, or direction of the head. The fluid in your inner ear is responsible for this. Vestibular input lets our body know if we are moving with or against gravity, moving or still, fast or slow, and what direction we are headed. Vestibular input promotes the development of muscle tone, righting reactions, balance, postural security, eye movements, and overall alertness.

Some children can be under-responsive, and others can be over-responsive to vestibular input. The under-responsive child may look clumsy, impulsive, unable to sit still, be able to spin without feeling dizzy, and seems to run everywhere. They typically seek out vestibular input by crashing, falling, swinging, jumping, running, and other movement-based activities.

Over-responsiveness is characterized by gravitational insecurity. The over-responsive child may seem fearful of the playground, clumsy, avoids stairs or uneven surfaces, and scared of movement-based activities. This child perceives gravity more intensely and becomes anxious or fearful of small movements.

Vestibular Input Activities with Modifications

 

 

 

 

 

Other Vestibular Input Activities

  • Running, skipping, somersaults, cartwheels
  • Balance beam, jumping rope, monkey bars
  • Wheelbarrow walk, hanging upside down
  • Bouncing on big ball, log rolling, spinning
  • Swinging, riding a bike, scooter board

 

 

 

– Abby Hobbs, MS, OTR/L