About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1142-1144
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

CLIMBING WALL AS A THERAPEUTIC TOOL FOR CHILDREN SUFFERING WITH MENTAL DISORDERS

N. Hellinger, S. Spitzer

Geha Mental Health Center (ISRAEL)
For the past 20 years, there is a unique ward in "Geha" mental health center. Its uniqueness is derived from the fact that children, aged 3-7 years old, most of them are males, dealing with diverse psychiatric diagnoses, study in a kindergarten inside the hospital during the day, and at the same time are treated by medical and paramedical staff. The milieu, teachers who are specialized in special education and the clinicians, work in a full cooperation in order to improve the mental health, the function level and the quality of life of the children and their families.
The occupational therapists in the ward, deal, in addition, with the developmental delay which characterizes those children.
The poster will describe the process of building a climbing wall in the occupational therapy room, and using it, for the first time, as a therapeutic tool:
The first step was to map the children's needs, using battery of tests for gross motor function, perception, coordination and sensory integration. In addition, the psychiatrists and the psychologists gave their impressions about the emotional and mental condition of the children.

The second step was to analyze the advantages of the climbing wall as a therapeutic tool and to adjust it to their developmental needs. Among the advantages we can mention these facts:
1. It encourages children to use their bodies in various ways, and by that it helps to improve the sensory modulation, the coordination, the motor learning and the motor planning.
2. Using the climbing wall has a significant meaning in the mental and cognitive aspect: It contributes to overcome anxiety and helps to deal with attention and hyperactivity.
3. The child feels the success in a concrete way, because he gets an immediate and clear feedback for his performance, after dealing with the challenge.
4. Climbing the wall is one of the only activities of which the child is up and the occupational therapist gives him physical and mental support from the ground. This special interaction between the client and the care-giver is very important from the psychological aspect.
5. Using the wall as a therapeutic tool can encourage children to solve problems which appear suddenly while climbing. The goal is that the child will succeed to solve the problems by himself, and if not, to use the hints from the occupational therapist.

In the third step, we planned the size, colors and the location of the climbing wall, and built it. We were very strict about the safety issue. The poster will include pictures of the wall.
The last step was to invite the children to experience the challenge during an occupational therapy session. We will add a case-study that will point out the positive results of this project.
@InProceedings{HELLINGER2012CLI,
author = {Hellinger, N. and Spitzer, S.},
title = {CLIMBING WALL AS A THERAPEUTIC TOOL FOR CHILDREN SUFFERING WITH MENTAL DISORDERS},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1142-1144}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Hellinger AU - S. Spitzer
TI - CLIMBING WALL AS A THERAPEUTIC TOOL FOR CHILDREN SUFFERING WITH MENTAL DISORDERS
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 1142
EP - 1144
ER -
N. Hellinger, S. Spitzer (2012) CLIMBING WALL AS A THERAPEUTIC TOOL FOR CHILDREN SUFFERING WITH MENTAL DISORDERS, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 1142-1144.
User:
Pass: