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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bilateral Bean Bag Activity

 I have been working with a young man who avoids using his right hand. He has limited hand skills and attention and he typically transfers objects to his left hand to insert into a container. He has been working on this for a long time.

I decided that since he is relatively successful at grasping and moving bean bags I would make something similar that would require using both hands because it is too long, awkward and heavy to lift with only his left hand. I filled an old long socks with a plastic bag in the center and  small bags of sand inside each end of the long sock.

Then I sewed the smaller socks onto each end to create some color contrast. As you see in the video I am trying to have him grasp the 2 small sock ends one in each hand. The video is choppy because I edited out his face. I am also talking constantly int he video because I don't want the voices of other clients heard, to protect their privacy. You do hear one other staff person directing him to do the task. He did really well and its exciting to find a new skill we can develop that  is within his potential given the cognitive limitations.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Making an Adapted Spoon

I have been thinking for a while that I should be able to make enlarged spoon handles using the handles from detergent bottles. The ones that are sold in therapy catalogs get lost- often.

I have been working with a young man who is able to grasp the handle and bring the spoon to his mouth but he often drops or throws it and then tries to eat with his hands. I also want him to learn to scoop.  I  had purchased a spoon for $25.00 (can't remember the name of it) but it had a very long and flexible handle that wrapped around the arm. I thought that I could grasp that long handle while he ate to encourage him to bring his hand down to the plate to scoop.
That spoon broke while figuring out how to use it!!

So here are photos and a video of some attempts to make built up handles. The maroon spoon fit inside the foam but all got quite soggy during the meal . I think that the green handle over the foam feels better.

I found the long blue tube on the beach. It looks like it might have been part of a tent pole. I ran it through the dish washer and it survived nicely!  

I discovered during this process that a heat gun makes the plastic soft enough to squeeze with pliers. If you can't get the end to clamp tightly onto the inserted spoon you can use duct tape to make it more secure.   

My favorite photo is on the bottom showing my client eating. He has learned not to throw the spoon and getting the kinesthetic  experience of grasping and scooping while the staff guides the movements.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ring stack adapted for patient with Hemiplegia

This client is a lady who had a brain injury. Her left hand is contracted and flexed tightly against her body. I found that she is limited in any type of hand use (except for eating) but was willing to put rings on a stack. The top picture shows the adapted ring stack laying on the table. She used her functional right hand to push the orange cones onto the tube.   She refused to use her left hand at all.

I don't have a photo of her using the revised adapted ring stack shown below. I had the blue massage pillow at home. It was broken and did not vibrate anymore. I pushed the tube into where the batteries were supposed to go and attached a blue detergent bottle cap on top to create color contrast.  I thought that the soapy aroma that lingered would be pleasant. Finally I did a little sewing to the blue cushion so that the part with the tube used as a ring stack actually stayed upright all by itself.  I showed her how to lay her typically flexed left arm  on top of the blue cushion to keep it upright while stacking the rings.  She seems to like it for brief periods, so we are working on increasing the time she tolerates hand activities, especially stabilizing with her weaker side.......