Hesperian Health Guides

Exercise Instruction Sheets—for Giving to Parents

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HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 42: Range-of-Motion and Other Exercises > Exercise Instruction Sheets—for Giving to Parents

If you give the family pictures of the exercises that their child needs, they will be more likely to do them—and do them right.

On the next few pages are samples of exercise sheets that you can copy and give to families. They show some of the home exercises that we have found are needed most often.

However, these exercise sheets should not be a substitute for hands-on demonstration and guided practice. Instead, give them to the family after you teach them how to do the exercises. In teaching an exercise or activity:

1. First show and explain.
An adult teaching a family holding the child's foot
Pull down hard on the heel as you push up on the foot. Hold it firmly for a while, and then stretch it a little more.
2. Next have the family and child practice until they do it right and understand why.
The adult assisting the mother while she is exercising her son's leg
That's good! But instead of pumping the foot back and forth use a firm steady pressure.
Like this?
Good! Feel how tight you are stretching the heel cord.
3. Then give her the instruction sheets and explain the main ideas again. 4. For exercises to correct contractures, consider giving the family a ‘flexikin’. Show them how to measure and record the child’s progress. This lets them ‘see’ the child’s gradual improvement, so they are likely to work harder at the exercises. (See “Flexikins”.)
Adult explaining instruction sheet to mother
Hold it firmly like this and count slowly to 25. Do that at least 10 times morning and evening.
A flexin shown in comparison to a child's body

You may want to prepare more sheets showing other exercises, activities, or play ideas that are included in this book. Better still, make sheets showing exercises and activities in ways that fit your local customs and that help the child to take part in the life of the community. (See Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.)

This page was updated:19 Jan 2018