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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Few Sensory Activities

One of the things I love about my job is working with individuals with a wide range of abilities.   One young man enjoyed pressing on a water bag placed on top of a light box.

 I made this by filling a heavy duty zip loc baggie with some water, glitter, beads and hair gel. then I put this bag inside another one and covered all edges with duct tape.

I made a 2nd bag by filling it with a lot of hair gel and a eye ball that lights up when you smack it. This was a hit.

The 3rd baggy has glitter and water and a few beads inside. It was leaking  bit so I put the first 2 bags inside a 3rd bag and this seems to be holding up pretty well. One client has found this exciting and it helps him to wait for lunch to be set up and another client told me that it is relaxing.

The bottom left picture shows an individual who  need to work on using his hands together.  He is pressing the clothespins to remove pictures. I cut holes into the plastic frame and wedged the pins into them, duct taped in place on back of the board. I actually cut each picture in half so that he can put them back together later- working on matching skills.

I later cut the yellow plastic board to fit inside the book stand clip and bottom ledge so that it stays in place better. 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hanging Hangers Activity

I work with some wonderful staff and one in particular is a great carpenter/activity designer. He attached the suspended dowel from the ceiling so that the individuals (with developmental disabilities) can hang them up. The hangers are on the floor so this gentleman has to repeatedly move up and down to pick them up- receiving wonderful vestibular stimulation.  He enjoys sorting them by color- he chose to do that without being told and it appears to be quite relaxing for him.

The cord holding up the bar is attached to small carabineers and these are attached to small hooks attached to the ceiling. It is not designed to be pulled with force  or hold much weight but it seems to be working really well for this activity.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Closing Zippers- A Repetitive, Fine-Motor Task

I decided to throw away the many pants and skirts that I have not worn in over 10 years. I put them all in a bag ready for the Good Will bin but decided to cut away some of the zippers from the pants. I ended up with quite a few for this task....

The video below shows 3 different individuals zipping closed and inserting into a container. This adds a new twist to the usual insertion task.

 I put flower designed duct tape on the ends that needed to be grasped and a piece of pipe cleaner through the zipper slider with a round piece of plastic attached to grasp.

I think that pulling them closed not only develops some nice bilateral coordination and a strong grasp but prepares them for the functional skill of pulling the small zipper slider tab or grasping an adapted zipper with a larger tab to pull (like the green ones in the photo). 

There is also a certain sensory quality to it pulling them closed. It is  quick and they don't rip when pulled hard so the individuals can feel an immediate sense of accomplishment.

After closing each zipper, I helped them push it through an opening in the large container so that they perform a 2 step task. I used the words "Close and push inside" . The gentleman in the photo was feeling a bit agitated but he loves to use his hands. So he is sitting in a rocking chair covered with soft material with a pink vibrating cushion on his lap while closing the zippers.

I chose to teach him only to close them. It seems like an easier skill than opening the zippers and then they fit more easily into the container opening when closed.....