Motor unrest can be expressed in many different ways and can be a symptom of different diagnoses as e.g. tone disorder, impaired ability to sensory integration, have a mental explanation, due to a sensory pickiness, unstable blood sugar, sleeping problems, or a poor with body awareness.
The term ‘motor unrest’ is often associated with restless children, who are perceived as disruptive in class because they have difficulties in sitting still. It is important to understand, that it is not due to deliberately bad behavior, but can be explained by several factors. For some, the time of the day can be an explanation, for others it is more determined by the contextual situation.
Sensory and motor unrest occur because the brain misses input from the body – these signals come from the proprioceptive sense, giving information to the brain about movements in the body, muscles, and joints.
Overall, it is good for human body to be active – but it is not always appropriate. For example, in a teaching situation, where it can be very hard for children to sit still for an entire lesson. In that situation, sensory stimulating helping aids can be a great help – it helps both the restless child to concentrate, it helps the other children in the class, and it helps the teacher to have fewer interruptions and better well-being in the classroom. When the balls in the sensory stimulating helping aids move slightly on the user’s body, signals are sent via the proprioceptive sense to brain. Those signals strengthen the user’s body awareness and have a calming effect. It is the same calming effect as when we instinctively tilt our feet or legs when feeling restless.
High maintenance boy in kindergarden
The boy tries The Protac Ball Cushion® on a high-chair and it helps him to sit more calmly. Then he also is given the Protac GroundMe® under his feet, which helps him become significantly more attentive and calmer and allows him to follow along with what is happening around the table.
12-year-old-boy with motor unrest
The Protac KneedMe® knee blanket has provided him with the calmness he needs to be able to sit at the table during meals both at school and at home. In the past, he had to get up when he became restless and often did not finish eating. In general, he is in a better mood now and has more energy to when relating to his classmates. He can better manage choosing between activities as well as the choices that the staff gives him when he becomes anxious and restless.
2 boys with severe motor unrest
The pediatric therapist places the ball cushion on the seat of the chair as well as under their feet. It has a surprisingly positive effect on the boys' sitting position, on their ability to sit still and on their concentration. The school uses the Protac Ball Blanket® during the classroom teaching, at lunchtime, as well as during the activities where the children must sit still and focus their attention on the task.
7-year-old boy with severe motor unrest
When we borrowed the Protac MyFit® ball vest for a weekend, the entire weekend became unusually calm for all parties, and the vest is clearly the explanation for that."
11-year-old boy with ADHD severe motor unrest
I like wearing the Protac MyFit® ball vest- it feels like getting a hug, but you cannot get hugged all the time.
14-year-old boy with ADHD motor unrest
The parents state: "Peter uses the Protac MyFit® ball vest during periods when he feels restless and impulsive. The balls and the material clearly help him to become calm and better sense himself. He is just as pleased with the ball vest as he is with the Protac Ball Blanket® - with the ball vest he can achieve the same safe feeling during the day as the blanket gives him at night ".
73-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease, motor and mental unrest
The woman has great difficulty calming down and wanders restlessly without being able to concentrate on anything. With the Protac MyFit® ball vest on , she calms down and you can see that her facial expression softens.
1-year-old boy with several nightly awakenings
Our son has had challenges with sleeping through the night - this is probably not much different than many other families with small children have experienced, but we thought it might be interesting to try the Protac Ball Blanket ®. Already the first night we saw a clear improvement. He only woke up one time, where we had to go into his room and comfort him. In the past, it was not uncommon for him to wake up 8-10 times during a night, and it could take a long time to get him to calm down again. It seems that the blanket gives him peace and security. We have experienced that we can hear him waking up and making a little "squeak" sound, but then quickly falling asleep again. In the past, he seemed to wake up completely in these situations and would need to be comforted and tucked in again. At present he wakes up a maximum of two times a night, and many nights he sleeps completely through, which was extremely rare before we used the blanket.
9-months-old boy with severe motor unrest
Nine-month-old boy who has always been fussy, physically restless, and heedless. He only briefly explores toys and needs to be constantly entertained. He is not able to calm himself and gets panicky, for example, when he must take a bath. It takes a long time to get him to sleep, he sleeps very uneasily, and is disturbed by even faint sounds. He is very restless, bangs his legs on the mattress and thrashes around with his arms. When he tried the Protac Ball Blanket® Baby, a change was already seen after a few nights. He now sleeps some nights without waking up at all and if he wakes up other nights, his parents can quickly get him to sleep again. He has become happier and less frustrated during the day and has more able to relax and cuddle when sitting with his parents. He is starting to be able to take a bath and is also starting to experiment with and explore toys for a longer period.
6-year-old boy with motor unrest
6-year-old, very restless boy can find peace and relaxation with the Protac Ball Blanket® Calm - and he puts his own words to the experience very nicely: “Mom, it's like I melt when I sleep with that blanket”.
10-year-old boy woth motor unrest and sensory disturbances
The boy has been subjected to massive neglect in his first years of life and has major sensory integrative challenges. He is very a great degree of motor unrest and has specific learning difficulties. The boy's adoptive parents say that they have difficulty getting him to sleep, that he sleeps very restlessly and that he often wakes up at night. After testing the Protac Ball Blanket® Calm, they also say that the boy, after a few days of getting used to it, now sleeps all night. After a few more nights, it also becomes much easier for him to fall asleep.
6-year-old boy with tendancy to be self destructive
From the moment the boy starts sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket® Flexible, his parents report that he sleeps an hour and a half longer in the morning and they experience him as calmer when he wakes up. He talks about the blanket and looks forward to being tucked in under it. He needs it with him when he spends the night elsewhere.
63-year-old woman with Huntington Chorea disease
Our resident who has Huntington's Chorea says that she has constantly had an inner turmoil for several years. From a sensory perspective, this is also about her muscle fibers constantly contracting, and that the disease also causes perception disorders, amongst others in the perception of interoceptive sensation. This means that she is constantly on guard and feels tense. The motor restlessness therefore influences the mental restlessness. We experience that she feels secure when she feels that she is being positioned with supports surrounding her body and being proprioceptively stimulated. She therefore enjoys the Protac SenSit® ball chair. The woman uses the chair if she needs to have quiet time or participate in a conversation. The woman is very conscious of when she needs the stimuli that the chair can provide. Furthermore, she sleeps with the Protac Ball Blanket® at night. She explains that it gives her peace and that she relaxes as a result. She experiences an increased energy capacity after experiencing sensory integration strategies embedded in her everyday life, and a more positive affective state.
48-year-old woman with motor unrest
A 48-year-old woman has a tendency toward depression and pronounced motor unrest and inner turmoil. When wearing Protac SensOn®, she experiences that she feels calmer and more collected, and she finds it comfortable.
6-year-old boy with motor unrest
After trying the Protac SenSit® ball chair a few times in occupational therapy treatment sessions, the boy says: "You have to tell my mother where to buy such a chair". The boy enjoys being hidden under the neck pillows; the side pieces are draped over him and he also wants to have a ball quilt over him in the meantime. When the parents see the pleasure that the chair brings, they try to create seating that is similar. The mother says, "we must own that chair”. Nothing else gives so much peace to our son."