Friday, May 15, 2009

Teaching to snap

Part of spring cleaning involves throwing out the clothes my son has outgrown. Seen here are the pockets that I cut off his shorts. Amazingly, one pair of shorts has 6 pockets with snaps. I painted orange nail polish on the spot where the snap needs to be pushed. I ask children to open them, remove a toy, and push the orange spot to close them again.
I work with a particular child on the autism spectrum who is able to do many fine-motor tasks such as closing buttons, snaps and container lids but doesn't seem motivated to do tasks with accuracy. I asked him to push the lid on a yogurt container so that it would be completely sealed and sand would not fall out when turned upside down. He seemed to understand and was interested when I did this (above a baking pan). We were both thrilled that nothing fell out!

Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L author of, The Recycling Occupational