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Astronaut Training- Spinning Program

Sensory Integration What is the

Therapy Vestibular System?
 Training the brain to process and
regulate sensory information  Gives our body a
effectively to organize sense of balance, tells
us if we are moving,
movements of the body
what direction we are
 Disorientation of the vestibular moving, and how fast
we are moving
system can help the brain  Works together with
regulate new information and visual system and
how to learn to process it auditory system to
help engage learning
about the
environment and
Rotary Vestibular Input world around us
(Spinning)  Balance, posture,
head control, and
gross & fine motor
 Most powerful form of function, all develop
sensory input for the and continue to
brain to process function based on the
vestibular system
 Helps the body self-  Has an effect on fine
regulate and resets the motor skills, eye hand
coordination, visual
vestibular system motor skills, poor
 15 minutes of spinning attention, balance,
can have a 6 hour core strength and
organizational skills
effect on the brain

A child who is constantly in

movement is likely to have Eye Movements (Nystagmus)
an under-responsive  Side to side movements of the eyes after spinning in upright sitting & up and
vestibular system, causing down movements after side lying
them to seek more intense
stimulation (flipping,
 Normal response: Eye movement will occur for ½ the amount of time that
crashing, hanging upside
spinning occurred (8 seconds of spinning= 4 seconds of eye movement)
A child who is avoidant of  If no nystagmus- vestibular system is under-responsive
intense movements is likely
to have an over-responsive  Excessive nystagmus- vestibular system is over-responsive
vestibular system
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Benefits of Spinning:

 Use the spinning

protocol as prep work in
therapy, at school, or at
home to provide a
calming or alerting
 Helps the brain learn to
regulate information and
generalize new learning
to other opportunities


Astronaut Training Program

 A child is spun on a swing or large “lazy susan” board in various directions (right side lying, left side lying,
and upright sitting), both clockwise and counterclockwise “Movement is key to all
 The therapist spins the board at a certain number of revolutions per minute (average of 7x) with controlled,
rhythmic movements aspects of life and learning”
 When the body is spinning, the eyes attempt to focus on objects to help orient the body
 After the spins, the therapist stops and observes the eye movement of the child to see if there is a typical or
abnormal response
o See above. Typical movement= continuous eye movement side to side or up and down
 The fluid that is in our ear canal (part of our vestibular system) is responsible for telling us where our body
is in space. After spinning, the fluid is still in motion and trying to orient back to a still position.

Examples of Vestibular Avoiding Examples of Vestibular Seeking

Behaviors Behaviors
• Afraid of activities that involve movement
• Inability to sit still, always in constant
• Scared of playground equipment (i.e. stairs,
merry go rounds)
• Can never seem to get enough movement
• Fearful of elevators
• Very impulsive, leading to unsafe risks
• Does not like being turned upside down or
and behaviors
being lifted off the ground
• Prefers to be upside down or hang off a
• Avoids stairs and may hold on to railing tightly
couch or chair
• May appear clumsy or have poor coordination

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