Astronaut Training Program is a sound activated vestibular-visual protocol used to assist a child reach optimal vestibular function and to enhance the dynamic interplay of moving, looking, and listening. During this program a child sits on a padded rectangular “astronaut board” while therapist imposes rotary input to the beat of carefully selected music and space-sounds to improve vestibular function.
During the astronaut training program, the child is placed on a padded astronaut board while carefully selected music and space-sounds are played. The therapist imposes rotary input to the astronaut board to the beat of the music while the child’s eyes are closed to elicit brisker and sustained reflexive eye movements to support volitional eye movement control. Each set of rotary movements is paired with a set of eye movements. Rotary movement elicits a reflexive eye movement called Post Rotary Nystagmus or PRN and these movements provide the foundation for specific types of eye movements. As soon as the PRN subsides, the child engages in volitional eye movements including saccades and smooth pursuits. When a child engages in the Astronaut Training Program, it assists in the integration of the vestibular, visual, and auditory systems to assist in overall function across all environments.