Friday, August 29, 2014

Adapting Sensory Items on Frame



 I am working with a severely developmentally delayed woman who has low vision and is very tactile defensive. She does not want to be touched and had made this known over the past 40 plus years after numerous sensory-based OT programs.

She actually finds it calming to pull on soft objects suspended from a frame that is attached to her wheelchair. She had an objective to knock objects off a board attached to a wall. The objects were attached with Velcro. She has met that goal so I have been working hard to think of a new skill to teach her.
She does not grasp objects unless physically assisted and then she clearly does not enjoy either the physical assistance nor the grasping.

The top picture shows the 3 stuffed animal toys that I originally found attached to the frame with string. The first thing I did was reattach the objects with some stretchy material so that there is give when it is pulled.

My client already has the skill to pull on these objects, so I decided to up the challenge so that she needs to pull them out of containers and her reward will be that the containers will fall away and she can engage in her preferred activity of pulling

I found enough clear plastic containers that the tennis balls come in and I also used a vitamin bottle and bottle for contact lens solution. Shampoo bottles would also work well. I cut around the top and added the red duct tape to create color contrast. However, she really didn't look toward the objects, so this didn't particularly matter when using with her.


The stuffed bear shown on the left is too large to fit inside any container so I just left it in place and it can easily be pushed off the frame out of view.

I suspended a long red microfiber sock filled with supermarket bags and sewn closed. It feels really good.

The photo above shows a sock filled with sand attached to the cord. I put an extra blue sock over it so that it can be washed.

You also see the Brainy Baby toy.  When pulled it vibrates and she seems to like it. There was a rabbit that can be pulled to activate music (shown in the first picture) and I left it on the frame but it is too large to fit inside any of my bottles.   However, I love the idea of using the toys that can be pulled to activate music or vibration.

 The last 3 photos show my client pulling trying to get rid of the bottles. I realize that  I should start out having her work at this for only about 5 seconds and then remove the bottle myself so that she does not get mad. I am hoping that over time she will connect the idea that removing the bottles will enable her to get to the fun part of grasping the soft materials. As you can see she prefers using her left hand and avoids the right hand, so part of my goal is that she use both hands either together (preferably or alternate).

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