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Barbara Smith
This fine-motor activity provides an opportunity to practice opening or closing clothing fasteners repeatedly to refine hand skills. Many clients enjoy repetitive tasks and find them calming.

Suspended Clothing Fasteners Fine-Motor Activity

This fine-motor activity provides an opportunity to practice opening or closing clothing fasteners repeatedly to refine hand skills. Many clients enjoy repetitive tasks and find them calming. Other benefits include:1) the materials are right in front of the individuals face, making it easier to see what they are manipulating2) Standing is aerobic for people who tend to sit all day, so its a form of exercise and3) There are options to first learn opening buttons or snaps which is easier than…

I came across a small patio-type table minus the top. It has 4 curved legs that I immediately thought would make awesome ring stacks. I have a lot of experience cutting up plastic containers to make f

Stringing Ring Stack Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

I came across a small patio-type table minus the top. It has 4 curved legs that I immediately thought would make awesome ring stacks. I have a lot of experience cutting up plastic containers to make flat rings. I like these better than 3-dimensional rings because they don’t roll away and they take up less space when stacking or storing materials. I cut simple shapes in blue, white, purple and yellow to resemble familiar objects such as bananas, boats, berries, fish, ghosts and snowmen. Place…

A parent gave me a large amount of extra medical tubing and I have found lots of uses! This activity works on eye-hand coordination, reaching above eye level and lots of great sensory movement.

Sensory-Motor Bead Insertion Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

A parent gave me a large amount of extra medical tubing and I have found lots of uses! This activity works on eye-hand coordination, reaching above eye level and lots of great sensory movement. The individual in the video likes to move both high and low and across the room. He really does not like to sit. He has very good eye-hand coordination to insert small objects into the open end of the tubing and the cognitive skills not to eat them.Materials required:1) 2 small clear plastic bottles…

My client, a young lady with developmental disabilities hates to get her hands wet, especially when assisted to wash her hands. My goal is to increase her exposure to having wet hands so that she incr Types Of Disability, Cutting Activities, Etch A Sketch, Oral Motor, Developmental Disabilities, Occupational Therapist, Down Syndrome, Baby Development, Writing Skills

How to Decrease Tactile Defensiveness to Water

My client, a young lady with developmental disabilities hates to get her hands wet, especially when assisted to wash her hands. My goal is to increase her exposure to having wet hands so that she increases her tolerance to washing them. I have had some success placing a preferred object in a sink filled with water so that she wets her hands while retrieving it. However, she hates to be in the bathroom in general and is happier in the program room. Therefore, I also like the activity shown in…

Many people including myself enjoy the feeling of rubbing a brush against the arms and hands. I received training decades ago on how to administer the Wilbarger Protocol that involves rubbing with a s

Brush Stringing for Sensory Processing Disorders

Many people including myself enjoy the feeling of rubbing a brush against the arms and hands. I received training decades ago on how to administer the Wilbarger Protocol that involves rubbing with a surgical brush every 2 hours to decrease tactile defensiveness. I find the hair brush purchased from the Dollar Store much more calming. The hair brush provides a greater amount of stimulation. I can barely feel the surgical brush when I rub it on my arms. I tied one of these hairbrushes to a…

A blind client with very good dexterity enjoys attaching the small rings to the crazy straws. She is a pro! This is a great activity for developing motor planning skills and refining dexterity.

Crazy Straw Ring Stack to Develop Fine-Motor Skills

A blind client with very good dexterity enjoys attaching the small rings to the crazy straws. She is a pro! This is a great activity for developing motor planning skills and refining dexterity. Some individuals will enjoy color matching. I purchased the straws in a set of 6 different colors. Your child or client may enjoy matching all six colors. Cut the rings out of the vibrant plastic bottles that remain after using detergent or dishwasher soap. These rings can also be used for stringing…

Superfoods - Tropical Fruit Salad with Cacao Nibs Recipe - High-Fiber Low-Sodium

Vibrating Ring Stack and Stringing Activity for Developmental Disabilities

I attached a dowel to a vibrating cushion to make a vibrating ring stack. Vibration motivates the blind individual with developmental disabilities shown in the video- to engage in a bilateral repetitive fine motor task (in plain English, using his hands together) . He currently does best using large rings since he is a bit impulsive and impatient.I also attached a long fabric cord for stringing smaller rings. Hopefully, he will develop the motor control and patience to manipulate stringing…

This video explains how to use sensory reinforcers to help children or adults on the autism spectrum or people with other developmental disabilities to develop hand skills. Many disabled individuals h

How Sensory Reinforcement Helps Children with Autism Develop Hand Skills

This video explains how to use sensory reinforcers to help children or adults on the autism spectrum or people with other developmental disabilities to develop hand skills. Many disabled individuals have sensory processing challenges and avoid using their hands. They may decrease anxiety and self-regulate by rocking, spinning, flapping or shaking objects in front of their eyes. While this is OK, it becomes a problem when people do this all the time to the exclusion of learning functional…

I had no idea how smart Micky was! He is blind, developmentally disabled, on the autistic spectrum and only uses a handful of words. When he first entered the day program 4 years ago, Micky refused to

Blind Individual with Developmental Disabilities Learns to use a Hole Puncher

I had no idea how smart Micky is! He is blind, developmentally disabled, on the autistic spectrum and only uses a handful of words. When he first entered the day program, at age 22 years Micky refused to touch any objects. His tactile defensiveness is so severe that he receives nutrition via a G-tube because he does not tolerate food inside his mouth. I designed activities that were simple to perform and tolerable to touch. Objects are plastic, wooden or rubber because he dislikes soft…

Here is a simple to make and use fine-motor activity for children or individuals with disabilities of any age. All you need is A magnetic surface Small magnetic pieces A stencil I happened to Cutting Activities, Motor Activities, Activities For Kids, Homemade Stencils, Heart Stencil, Etch A Sketch, Oral Motor, Large Stencils, Magnetic White Board

Creating Pictures with Magnets and Stencils

Here is a simple to make and use fine-motor activity for children or individuals with disabilities of any age. All you need is1) A magnetic surface2) Small magnetic pieces3) A stencilI happened to have flat magnetic puzzle boards that were too difficult for many of my clients to use so I cut them up into the small yellow, red and blue pieces that are shown in the video. You may purchase pretty magnets or plain ones that you pretty up with tape. Individualize according to your child or…

This client is nonverbal but wants to communicate. He frequently pulls on the staff’s sleeves and places their hand on top of his head to indicate wanting it rubbed. He also likes cookies and music. Cutting Activities, Etch A Sketch, Oral Motor, Developmental Disabilities, Occupational Therapist, Pipe Cleaners, Achieve Success, Baby Development, Bottle Caps

Picture Communication Board and Developmental Disabilities

This client is nonverbal but wants to communicate. He frequently pulls on the staff’s sleeves and places their hand on top of his head to indicate wanting it rubbed. He also likes cookies and music. The speech therapist taped the 3 pictures onto the table so that they are always available to use to communicate his desires. He is still learning to point to a picture rather than pull on someone’s sleeves but with consistency and practice, he is learning how to use a communication board. Over…

Rocking Chair/Weighted Fine-Motor Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Rocking Chair/Weighted Fine-Motor Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

I designed the following sensory activity with a specific individual in mind. This is an individual who enjoys shaking, tossing or squeezing sensory-based objects such as squeeze balls. He has been very on edge due to the Christmas holiday and upcoming 10-day break. Many of my adult clients with developmental disabilities love the structure and predictability of a day program- Monday through Friday. They find routine changes a bit scary and discombobulating. I expect BIG smiles when they…

I started playing around with tie wraps when I found a large container of them anonymously donated and placed on my desk at work. Pushing tie wraps through holes works on many skills.

Christmas Tree Eye-Hand Coordination Activity using Tie Wraps

I started playing around with tie wraps when I found a large container of them anonymously donated and placed on my desk at work. Pushing tie wraps through holes works on many skills.1) They need to be inserted with the narrow end entering the hole since the fatter end prevents the tie wrap from going all the way through. If that happens simple attach a little duct tape to make one end larger. I love watching children or my clients problem solving.....2) Attaching the tie wraps works on…

Ahhhh (or should I say moooooo)- it's always sweet to watch the baby-mother bond! I loved breast-feeding my baby 31 years ago. He was a very sensitive, fussy baby who was difficult to soothe. Early Intervention Program, Tactile Stimulation, Cutting Activities, Etch A Sketch, My Last Day, Pinterest Images, Occupational Therapist, Baby Development, I Said

Calf Loves Mother's Milk!

Ahhhh (or should I say moooooo)- it's always sweet to watch the baby-mother bond! I loved breast-feeding my baby 31 years ago. He was a very sensitive, fussy baby who was difficult to soothe. Even though I am an occupational therapist and worked for 2 years in an early intervention program (I went into labor on my last day of employment there) I had no idea that not all babies cried so frequently, wanted to nursed all the time and took hours of settling down to sleep and then woke up 3 hours…

I made this video almost 10 years ago when I was providing low vision services in home care settings. I hope that this information continues to help other therapists and patients.

Low Vision Occupational Therapy

I made this video almost 10 years ago when I was providing low vision services in home care settings. I hope that this information continues to help other therapists and patients. The best part is that Medicare pays for these services! If you or someone you care about has low vision, please share this video packed with information about home care services that may help them to be more independent and enjoy life. I found that many eye doctors (ophthalmologists and optometrists) did not know…

Some children and individuals with disabilities are easily overwhelmed when there are a large number of materials around. The task seems endless! I find that it helps to set up materials so that it’s

Color Matching Pill Box Activity for Developmentally Disabled

Some children and individuals with disabilities are easily overwhelmed when there are a large number of materials around. The task seems endless! I find that it helps to set up materials so that it’s obvious that the activity won’t last too long and the end is in sight….. Filling up sections in a pill box or other sectioned container is a great for individuals with short attention spans.The pill box shown in the video has 17 sections, but you can find one with less to makes success easier…