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Friday, June 30, 2017

Hippotherapy Activities that Help Build Hand Skills

Hippotherapy is a specialized treatment area used by occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists.  It involves utilizing the sensory-motor aspects of horses to achieve therapeutic goals such as improving sensory processing to tolerate touch and motor plan sequential movements. Although the horse functions as a therapy tool, it is obviously much more exciting than a swing or therapy ball, offering opportunities to develop an emotional bond, communication and social skills.

Please continue reading my guest post on Therapro's blog....

Related videos:

Source: Sensory Pull Activity for Children with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorders by RecyclingOT on Rumble

Source: Hippotherapy with Children with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorders by RecyclingOT on Rumble

For friends living in New England....

Join me at Therapro, Inc.  for a free CEU seminar on August 26, 2017 as I present: From Flapping to Function: How to Promote Hand Skills by Meeting a Child’s Sensory Needs










Friday, June 23, 2017

Sensory Processing Disorders: Pushing Objects Through Elastics to Increase Sensory Stimulation, Finger Strength and Body Awareness

Pushing objects into openings between elastics or other stretchy materials is a fun way to provide resistance, proprioceptive stimulation to muscles and joints in the hands and develop eye-hand coordination. I like to create variations of familiar activities and love when I discover new ways to add sensory stimulation to the activity.

Consider placing a motorized pen or toothbrush into the container for even more sensory stimulation!

As usual, I used readily available materials- containers and fabric. You can link up potholder loops or hair elastics to make a long, long, strand of elastics to weave through holes cut around the opening. Another option is to cut thin strips of stretchy fabric and do the same.

First cut to remove one end of the container. Then punch or cut holes around the rim.

If you use thin elastics you can push them through holes made with a heavy duty hole puncher . If you use thicker elastics cut around the holes to make larger.

 A first I punched holes around the rim of a Thick-it  square container with screw cover (shown in the video) because they are readily available at work.  I was planning to cut a flap on the bottom to pull open and empty the contents...... then I realized that if I turn the container upside down and make the activity on the BOTTOM, it is easy to unscrew the cover to empty out the contents.

This photo shows a large clear cheese ball container with large holes cut around the rim. I wove strips of stretchy fabric through holes and over the other strips until all felt secure and tight.

This activity is easy to grade by
1) starting out with smaller or thinner objects and increasing their size so that more force is used to push through the stretchy bands.
2) Make the openings bigger or easier to squeeze objects through
3) Experiment with different types of stretchy materials, some are easier to squeeze objects through than others.......

This activity works on different skills such as:
1) using hands together
2)strengthening fingers
3)Eye-hand coordination and motor planning
4)promoting engagement/ visual attention
5) Identifying/naming a variety of objects, shapes, weights, colors, sizes etc. while inserting them.  Visually impaired clients might particularly enjoy identifying objects before inserting them.

Objects with greater meaning or words written on them may be used with clients who have higher level cognitive abilities.

This activity is suitable for toddlers or older individuals with developmental or other cognitive disabilities who put objects in their mouths,  if you closely monitor to avoid choking risks.

Source: Sensory Processing Activity: Pushing Objects between Elastics on Container by RecyclingOT on Rumble

This client is stabilizing her spastic right hand on a large detergent bottle handle while inserting objects in the container that is wedged into the blue bottle.

Source: Hemiplegia Adaptation: Making it Easy to Stabilize Materials by RecyclingOT

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