How would you feel if you were suddenly walking through thick split- pea soup or if gravity had left Earth? Out of whack, right? Having some difficulty functioning would be an understatement.
Children whose vestibular and proprioceptive systems aren’t working right, feel like that ALL THE TIME. They can’t really feel who they are, where they are, or where people or objects are around them. They can’t even feel the floor!
That’s why instead of walking, they run or stomp. When jumping, they crash down to the floor. They’re also always bumping into things and people around them, or veering widely out of the way.
Simply, all judgment is off. A playground can be a disaster-ground. Anything needing balance is extra tricky for the brave ones, and the semi-confident ones are scared off. Steps, ladders, slides, any structure that needs climbing needs good judgment- and if you couldn’t tell how steep the slide is or where the next step or ladder rung is, I’d bet you’d be hesitant too!
These poor kids, who are expected to have fun on a playground, wish they can be like everybody else, and they don’t understand why they aren’t.
But, we adults who know what is going on, can intervene and help them, and let them have some of that fun every child deserves.