[2015] Michael Sprague (OTA 110.51 Spring 2015, Default class, OTA133Fall2015): The Astronaut Traini

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by JSJonesOT
Last updated 4 years ago

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[2015] Michael Sprague (OTA 110.51 Spring 2015, Default class, OTA133Fall2015): The Astronaut Traini

The "Astronaut Training Program" was developed by Sheila M. Frick OTR and Mary J. Kawar, MS, OTR in New Jersey about 20 years ago, and is a treatment protocol created to strengthen a child’s auditory, vestibular, and visual sensory processing skills.

This program is suited for children ages 7-14 whp may have trouble with balance issues, sensory issues, and coordination disorders.

The Astronaut Training Program

thanks to:www.astronautboards.comwww.vitallinks.netoccupational-therapy.advanceweb.com

Though the program is promising, and captures the imagination, and despite some statements from the practitioners, there isn't alot of fact based evidence supporting this intervention. I was able to find more articles that argued against it than i could find in its favor.

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The program is avaialable throughout the country, and usually meets 2-3 times a week if in person and is covered under some insurances. It is also available online and costs $365.00

The ability to give the Astronaut Training Program can be learned online through literature and dvds you can purchased for $39.00 Currently there isn't an actual certification so anyone can learn how to do it.

The OT or person running the course, places the paticipants on what they call an "astronaut board." They are then moved in a timed sequence that is paired with a soundtrack. The resulting effects can be described as a rollercoater ride for some. It challenges the vestibular senses, paired with the sounds and visual input.

The goals and expected results are an improvement in thir motor skills, specifically positioning, and calibration.

This is geared towards children as it mimics a space game of sorts. Teenagers might not find the activirties as interesting. The OT uses these activities to strengthen the occupatinal areas of safety, areas of play, leisure, and overall job performance.

In one case of a 14 year old who suffered from hemiplegia on her left side that would ignore her right side, and who's eyes would constantly dart about due to a condition known asnystagmus. This contributed to her not being abe to write or type on a keyboard. After a couple of years in the program, she is now able to use a keyboard, and has become much more aware of her right side, specifically her right eye. This success has motivated her and contributed to an improvement in her overall mood.


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