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Friday, July 31, 2015

Stabilizing Ball during Velcro Placement Activity

I happened to have a weighted ball available so I attached Velcro dots all over it. This gave the ball an interesting texture which was especially helpful when working with a blind client.  I asked them to remove the shapes from the ball to place on the board.  This activity promoted stabilizing with one hand especially since the ball what roll away otherwise. They also had to sequence, reach and think about spatial relationships to make it work. They both seemed to enjoy this very much !!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Multi-Use Glitter Bottle

My clients have been enjoying shaking a large glitter bottle for several months. It is a large, clear orange juice bottle filled with glitter, glitter glue and water.

 But I did a little experimenting when my 5 year old neighbor threw out a broken swimming pool toy that shoots water. I cut a hole in the bottle's lid so that the toy fit in snuggly and covered with duct tape to avoid any leaks. I don't give this one to people who like to shake it around forcefully.

I originally thought I might have people pull the long handle up and down as a fun way of doing exercises. But then a staff person suggested using it as a ring stack. This made perfect sense since it can function as an adjustable ring stack. It is now being used with a lady who has a spastic right hand that she can wrap around the handle while stacking rings with her very functional left hand. I love that we can adjust the height of this ring stack according to who is using it.

In the video you see a young man maintaining grasp on the bottle. He is visually attending to the glitter water movement and for him simply keeping his hands on the bottle and visually attending is therapeutic.  As with toys for children, the best therapeutic activities can be used in a variety of ways and individualized according to the person's needs.... .
I have not been able to find the exact same water blaster toy on Amazon but these look like they might work.... Since I work with adults, I would try to remove or cover up any childish characters.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Curvy Ring Stack

I found this curvy object at a yard sale and found out that it is a hummingbird mister. You attach a hose to the end and mist comes out of the top to attract birds. It looked like a ring stack to me. I cut the rings out of detergent bottles and got some pretty nice colors. The stack is very stable when on the floor or table. I love how people are willing to stand to do this but it can also be done while sitting if the person can reach that high. I made some rings with large holes to be easy to put on and some have smaller holes so that they have to use both hands to push it on. Some individuals gave up easily when they had to work to push the rings on so this is a good activity to encourage persistence since it is a lot of fun to watch the rings coast downward. The visual stimulation is attractive to some individuals on the autism spectrum.
Some individuals were challenged to motor plan how to stabilize this thing on the table while getting the ring on and then needed to learn to let go of the tube so that the ring can travel all the way down.

Attaching the containers to the bottom of the mister is optional.

I have goals for many individuals to increase time engaged in repetitive tasks and to raise their arms above the head. This activity works on these and many other goals. I just wish that I had more of these bird misters and at different heights because some individuals couldn't reach it. In any case, it was a good yard sale find and the sellers generously donated it to me after I explained how I would use it.....

Source: How to make this helpful toy for children with autism by RecyclingOT on Rumble

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer 2015 book sale for parents, therapists and teachers

 These books are still for sale. Please email me if interested.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

High Chair Tray Recycling

I came across a high chair with my favorite sign on top 'FREE" and  took the removable tray  and the top that inserted into it.  It snapped right off...

I liked how a plate could fit inside the insert and a cup into the hole. I had no idea who I would give this to but thought about how so many of the adults I work with don't keep the plate and cup directly in front of them or knock things over. Later I decided to give this to a man who is blind and deaf and developmentally delays. I think that the boundaries of the tray help him to understand the spatial relationships between him, plate, cup and spoon.  

I also like the tray that was holding the insert in place and made a matching picture activity.  I have certain clients attach laminated photos to the square pieces of Velcro attached along the edge and the red circles inside the black sticky backed foam I found. The red circles also attach with Velcro. I really like the raised borders that contain the activity so small pieces tend not to fall onto the table.....