Certainly, each of us has met a person who is afraid of heights, is afraid to climb, does not like going to an amusement park, etc. Such symptoms may indicate gravitational uncertainty, i.e. fear of movement in space, especially new and unknown. Gravitational uncertainty is such a dysfunction of the vestibular system that causes us to react too strongly to movement and we are afraid of any changes in gravity and position, we interpret them as a potential threat. The first symptoms of gravitational uncertainty can already be seen in toddlers - babies do not like sudden changes of position, tossing upwards - they may then be tearful and tense, children who are already walking, for example, to come down from a step or a height, may go to the quadruple position. Children with gravitational uncertainty are also afraid of the swing, some of them do not even want to get on the swing, because then they lose contact with the ground. Reluctance to take your feet off the ground can also make it difficult to jump, jump, climb, and bike. Some children with very high gravitational uncertainty may be afraid of riding an elevator or escalator - they will then cry and protest. The gravitational hazard may, therefore, hinder the daily functioning of children and greatly limit their participation in games typical for toddlers, and thus contribute to difficulties in gross motor skills and difficulties in planning movement. The first thing a parent may do if a child is anxious about their child's anxiety during certain physical activities is not to force them to take on the challenges that cause such strong emotional responses. The next step should be a consultation with a sensory integration therapist. We should remember that a child does not grow out of sensory integration disorders, they can only take a different form with age and contribute to difficulties in socio-emotional functioning.
special educator, specialist in sensory integration