By Amy Vega - August 21, 2014
I have a question about how one completes the ‘both heel’ task. In the IM demo video, the person steps backward to strike the trigger. A client of mine asked if she could face forward towards the foot trigger and strike it by moving her foot forward, lifting it over the pad, then striking it with her heel. Should I allow her to continue striking the trigger this way? She is using her heel, however she is not moving her feet backwards?
This is a very good question. It is actually more beneficial to do the heel exercise as it is shown in the IM demo, stepping backward onto the foot trigger. A person may “prefer” to do this exercise in a more forward motion because it is more akin to the over-learned motor pattern of walking and is much easier from a motor planning and sequencing standpoint. It is more challenging to do the reverse movement, and when dyspraxia is present (even if mild) it often shows up on Task 7: Both Heels because it is a reverse movement that we don’t use nearly as often in our daily lives.
Amy Vega, MS, CCC-SLP
Interactive Metronome, Inc
Clinical Education Director
Clinical Advisory Board Director
Clinical Education Administrator