Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fun ways to develop fine motor skills

Our daughter works with a spectacular Occupational Therapist at school. She has progressed so much in her abilities to run, jump, hold her pencil, cut, write, snap clothing, etc.! We also do a lot of work with her at home. Painting and coloring is a big hit. Art is something she loves very much and you don’t have to twist her arm to do it. Something she is not-so-much thrilled about doing is writing letters; she has some apprehension about that. I just got her a new dry erase book, though, where she can practice her lowercase letters, and she seems to like it!

Speaking of art...we did something FUN today with scissors, glue, and straws from and idea I got in my new book.

I bought this awesome book at Borders entitled, "Everyday Play: Fun Games to Develop the Fine Motor Skills Your Child Needs for School" by Christy Isbell.  The game/art project we did today was  called“Pop Straws.” Although it was listed for three-year-olds, my daughter who just started kindergarten, had a ball with it.

She first used her scissors to cut up thick plastic straws (develops scissors skills and helps grasp). The straws made a “pop” sound when she cut them.

Then she glued them on the paper and added in other special touches to make unique works of art.

Although we used "art" as our medium for this game, you can pretty much do anything such as arranging the cut straws by colors or size. Fun any way you look at it!

Find the book on Amazon:

We like to incorporate stickers into her routine also. Using her index finger and thumb to peel the stickers helps to strengthen her grasp. The tinier the stickers, the better.
These will be given as greeting cards.

There are tons of free resources online about fine motor development.
This is an awesome blog that I just found today! Check it out…
Spaghetti Box Kids blog/Strategies, Tips and Activities for Learning:
Learn About Fine Motor Skills and How to Improve Them:
Have fun learning and progressing with your kids!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Goodbye disability labels... hello self esteem!

When our daughter was diagnosed with significant developmental delays, the words used to describe her were "cognitively impaired and developmentally impaired (motor, speech, language, social)." We later were told she has autism.
We have tried to not use disability labels to define our daughter. Labels can be crippling. We also never say that our daughter has "special needs." This term is outdated and invokes pity, but it is plastered all over the place in our school system and community. Children or adults with disabilities are no more "special" than anyone else. We all have needs, don't we? One person is no more special than another. ALL people are special.