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Embracing Neurodiversity: Re-defining “Appropriate Behaviour” for Autistic kids.

Crossing the Midline

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

What is midline crossing?

Being able to smoothly coordinate moving our arm/leg/eyes across an imaginary line separating our body into Right and Left sides.

Why is midline crossing important?

Everyday we use complex movements that involve reaching across our body to complete activities such as…

  • Reading a book – our eyes move across the words, while our hands turn the pages
  • Writing a story or finishing written homework
  • Getting dressed – pulling our jacket sleeve up our arm, doing up buttons on a shirt, putting our shoes on
  • High five the person sitting next to us
  • Picking up food with our hands or fork/spoon to eat
  • Building with Lego
  • Playing sports – kicking a ball to a team member, throwing a ball into the hoop

How can I support midline crossing?

Encouraging activities which use both sides of the body (bilateral coordination) and integrate crossing the midline into everyday activities such as getting dressed

  • Clapping games like patty cake
  • Musical instruments requiring two hands like the tambourine or triangle
  • Simon Says – take turns being ‘Simon’!
  • Draw a figure 8 together – use this as ‘race-tracks’ for toy cars or horses
  • Putting together a puzzle on the floor – lay the pieces out in an arc in front of your child, and have them reach for each piece
  • ‘Stuck in the mud’ throw/catch – have your child pretend they are ‘stuck in the mud’ and throw a ball to their right/left sides for them to twist and catch two-handed

Does your child need support developing this skill?

Reach out to our wonderful admin team and they will support you to make a plan that works for you and your family.