ESU 5's new Motor Lab is up and running!

students using motor lab
child walking on a balance board
teacher and children at whiteboard
child on trampoline
view of motor lab

Under the direction of Occupational Therapist Tiffany Wallman, a new Ready Bodies Learning Minds Motor Lab is available to elementary students at Diller-Odell Public Schools.   The students and teachers are seeing positive results.  After visiting the Motor Lab, students' bodies and minds are engaged and ready to learn.

The goal of a Ready Bodies Learning Minds Motor Lab is to help children develop the skills necessary for learning readiness, gain mastery of their environment, and to have fun while doing it!  Many of these skills are motor based. Handwriting, sitting still, paying attention, speaking, and behavior are all performances based on a child’s ability to maneuver and function in his /her environment. The more aware he/she is of his environment and the more he learns about the sensations of his own movement, the better he can control himself and accomplish tasks.

This is not intended to be a replacement for Physical Education, but instead is intended as a base for the skill building of Physical Education, as well as building a structure for the acquisition of academic skills. Each time students come to the Motor Lab, we begin and end with a couple of stretching exercises that are reflexive in nature.  This means that we go to the very base of motor learning-the primary movement patterns that are the beginning of motor control.  Some reflexes that persist as adults are blinking, yawning, and coughing. Other involuntary reflexes will be available as long as they serve a purpose in providing a learning experience. Children begin to develop voluntary control, and the reflex then becomes "learned" behavior.  This learned behavior or pattern of movement becomes a foundation for all of their movement and posture. 

Students rotate through the stations for 1 to 1 1/2 minute segments.   These activities follow a progression from introductory to more advanced ones.  As children begin mastering a skill, a new set of stations are used (approximately) every 2 weeks until we rotate through the entire series and start over again. 

Ready Bodies, Learning Minds (RBLM) is a comprehensive approach to understanding how sensory integration and motor control drives learning, and therefore the performance, of our children. RBLM clarifies these powerful relationships and then delivers powerful, hands-on tools for therapists, teachers and staff to assist children.


Motor Lab: A Sensory Motor Approach to Strengthening Academic Foundations

I am so grateful that the ESU had so many specialists to work with my son, because now I know what to do to help my child with autism. The speech pathologist and occupational therapist from the ESU have allowed him to gain more than I ever expected him to. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
The best part of working at ESU 5 is the people I work with!
ESU 5 Staff Member
ESU 5 is a wonderful place to work! My co-workers are helpful, friendly and supportive.
ESU 5 Staff Member