OT and Wii
I stepped into a special education functional life skills classroom at the high school last week. From the doorway, it appeared to be a big free-for-all, with loud music and students, and their special education teachers and aides moving around in all directions to the pulsating beat. But when I actually looked closer and saw how the students were spending this week's Fun Friday, I was rather impressed. Typically being the last holdout on much of today's technology, I had no experience with Wii, and this special education class was way ahead of me!
While watching this group of teens using the Wii and performing dance moves, I only felt disappointed in myself that I had not been the one to think of the idea. The dance program on Wii appears to be the kinesthetic version of Karaoke. The students held the device in their right hand as the music played and they danced. Those students who appeared to have deficits in coordination danced much better than I do when using the Wii. What an incredible tool for occupational therapy practitioners to utilize to develop fine and especially gross motor skills as well as motor planning skills and coordination, and for sequencing and following directions.
I already know that Wii has games of popular sports such as tennis and bowling. Some of my friends have Wii in their home and enjoy hours of fun entertainment with their families. I see great potential for the use of Wii in our therapy practices with young children, teens, and even adults and our geriatric patients in skilled care facilities.
I would love to hear from other occupational therapy practitioners reading this blog as to how they use Wii, video games, and other tech devices with their patients and clients.