Therapeutic needs among children with autism differ dramatically. No two children are alike. Some may benefit from speech therapy. Others might get more out of recreational therapy and other activities that help develop social skills. Still, one aspect of autism that too often goes overlooked is how it impacts motor development. With this in mind, we’ve laid out a few of the best tools to help your child learn fine motor skills—while having fun, too.
Most people are familiar with tweezers as a first-aid tool. But they can help your child learn their fine motor skills as well. Using them can be quite a challenge in the early years of fine motor development.
As an exercise, consider having your child use tweezers to pick up objects of varying sizes, such as buttons or grains of uncooked rice. See how many they can move from one dish to another. Clothespins work for this activity as well.
Pipe cleaners are a more traditional hallmark of recreation for children. They can easily be incorporated into just about any craft.
If you want to use pipe cleaners to help your child develop their fine motor skills, one idea is to have them make bracelets out of them. Give them an assortment of buttons and beads, then have them thread them onto the pipe cleaner. When they’re done, you can help them ‘tie’ the DIY bracelet onto their wrist!
There’s a reason playdough is such a popular toy among children. It’s not just fun for them to play with; it gives them a chance to develop the muscles necessary for fine motor movement while exercising creativity at the same time.
The great thing about playdough is you don’t have to set up a ‘game’ to get your child to use it. They should have a lot of fun with it naturally.
Binder clips are more than just something you’d want to have around your office. They have to be really strong in order to hold sheets of paper together. You may even struggle to open some of the larger ones.
If your child’s fine motor skills are impacted by autism, you can think of a binder clip as a hand grip exercises in miniature. Your child can build lots of muscles in their hands just by fiddling with them. You could even get them to ‘help’ organize your files while you work from home!
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.