Posturology for children
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From birth, human beings begin learning how to stand vertically, acquire and optimise their motor repertoire and various manoeuvres, which will not be mature until about 15 years old.
Childhood is the period during which our plumb line postural system is acquired and reaches maturity and during which children are especially sensitive to internal or external disruptions.
Childhood and adolescence are therefore an essential period for monitoring and for implementing postural treatment.
In addition, postural treatment for children is not approached in the same way as for adults. In fact, if the child is more malleable and tolerant of postural treatments, these treatments should be implemented according to specific prioritisation criteria at certain stages of ontogenetic evolution (Vallier, 2014).
Christine Assaiante has helped identify critical periods corresponding to periods of change in postural strategy.
Hence, for the therapist, there is more than one preferred choice of prioritisation for implementing postural treatment in children. This choice must be determined based on the ontogenetic stages.
The plumb line postural system is organised on the basis of two types of support :
- The gravitational vertical (cephalic sensors):eye – vestibule – mandibula
- The support on which the subject stands: podal sensors – proprioception – skin
During the postural system’s various maturation stages, the nervous system will by turns give priority to one of the two postural control support systems.
Postural treatment in children must therefore take account of the ontogenetic stages of postural maturation. Prioritisation of postural treatment should be implemented according to the preferential system associated with each stage.
In children, blindly treating asynchronism in a postural sensor without taking account of the ontogenetic stages, and therefore without advance prioritisation, carries the risk not only of ultimate treatment failure but above all the risk of bringing about decompensation of the plumb line postural system.
Main pathologies when a child requires multidisciplinary postural treatment
Learning and coordination disorders
Clumsiness, dizziness, attention disorders, repeated falls, etc.