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Strategies for Improving Participation in Daily Occupations Presented By:Molly Walrath, MS, OTR/L Annie Altavilla, MS, OTR/L Presented On:March 14, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Improving Participation in Daily Occupations Presented By:Molly Walrath, MS, OTR/L Annie Altavilla, MS, OTR/L Presented On:March 14, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Improving Participation in Daily Occupations Presented By:Molly Walrath, MS, OTR/L Annie Altavilla, MS, OTR/L Presented On:March 14, 2015

2 Our discussion will focus on assisting parents and children in the home environment via sensory supports and visual sequences in order to increase independence in self-care and household tasks

3 The Role of Occupational Therapy Occupational therapy practitioners work with children, youth, and their families to promote active participation in activities or occupations that are meaningful to them Occupation refers to activities that may support the health, well-being, and development of an individual For children and youth, occupations are activities that enable them to learn and develop life skills (e.g., school activities), be creative and/or derive enjoyment (e.g., play), and thrive (e.g., self-care and care for others) as both a means and an end (AOTA, 2008)

4 Provide strategies to facilitate participation Assess developmental and learning needs Plan and implement relevant intervention strategies and developmentally appropriate activities Reduce environmental barriers that limit participation and create an environment to support skill development and learning Identify need for assistive technology devices, adaptive equipment and additional supports From: American Occupational Therapy Association. (2009). FAQ: What is the role of occupational therapy in early intervention? Available at The Role of Occupational Therapy (cont.)

5 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Basic ADLs are self-care tasks Include but are not limited to: – Personal Hygiene and Grooming – Dressing and Undressing – Eating – Toileting – Sleeping and Rest

6 Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) Allow an individual to live independently within their home and community Include but are not limited to: – Household Tasks – Shopping for Groceries or Clothing – Meal Preparation and Cleanup – Using Technology (as applicable) – Safety

7 The Role of OT in ADLs Assess the developmental level and acquired skills necessary to complete the task We look at: – Cognition – Motor Skills and Motor Planning – Sensory Processing – Social Emotional Factors

8 Provide Strategies for Caregivers Modify the: – Task – Environment – Materials The Role of OT in ADLs (cont.)

9 Tips and Strategies Customize what tips will work for you, your child and your family Take what you want, leave the rest!

10 Personal Hygiene and Grooming Bathing/Showering Hair Washing

11 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Hair Brushing/Combing Nail Clipping

12 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Hair Cutting – Can be particularly upsetting and stressful for both the child and the adult – Consider the environment Your own home The home of a friend who is a stylist Salon (Snip-Its)

13 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Hair Cutting – Preparation and Participation Social story, pre-visit, use play, visual supports Bring items that are comforting and/or activities that provide distraction

14 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Hair Cutting – Sensory Concerns Wet hair versus Dry hair Prepare the nervous system – Wearing tight fitting clothing under regular clothes – Deep pressure to the head, shoulders, arms and legs – Wear a tight hat prior to arrival

15 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Hair Cutting – Sensory Concerns Use a wrap of the appropriate texture and weight Choose the appropriate tool based on child’s needs Consult your OT for desensitization strategies Find a hairstyle that works for your child and you!

16 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Toileting Hand Washing

17 Personal Hygiene and Grooming (cont.) Tooth Brushing

18 Dressing and Undressing Requires: – Attention – Balance – Range of Motion – Strength – Motor Planning – Memory/Cognition – Gross Motor and Fine Motor Skills

19 Eating For children with Autism, consistency is often key, but not always possible Do what works for your family, your traditions and what you value as important

20 Eating (cont.) Should be an enjoyable experience Start with non-threatening food related activities – Read books about different foods – Talk about the characteristics of food – Complete inset or jigsaw puzzles with food related theme – Word Searches and Unscrambling – Guessing Games – Food Play Activities

21 Eating (cont.) Set up a daily routine – Sitting with good support – Allow child to sit how comfortable and safe Consider the environment child is eating in: – Relaxed or hectic – Specific time frame – Does child feel healthy or unwell – Noises – Lighting – Smells – Visual Distractions

22 Eating (cont.) Adaptive Equipment – Will be done with OT consultation – Can include: Built up handles Bent utensils Weighted utensils Scoop bowls Non-skid surfaces Special cups and straws

23 Trying New Foods Possible sensory issues impacting success: – Texture – Smell – Temperature – Taste – Visual

24 Trying New Foods (cont.) Consider your own level of regulation and style or approach – Calm or Frustrated – Forceful or Passive What are the expectations?

25 Trying New Foods (cont.) Key Points: – Rule out medical concerns with physician Allergies, intolerance or sensitivities – Keep it positive Never force feed Avoid power struggles

26 Trying New Foods (cont.) Some strategies: – First/Then Boards or Token Board – “Special Snack Time” – Role Modeling – Clear Expectations – Pick Your Battles – Keep it Short and Sweet

27 Developmental Approach Tolerate New Food – On the table – On their plate Touch New Food – Finger – Lips – Tongue

28 Developmental Approach (cont.) Place New Food – In mouth and spit into cup – Chew and spit in cup – Chew and swallow

29 Sleeping and Rest High levels of activity and periods of rest are normal for children throughout the day Decrease the level of activity (depending upon the child) from 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime – Physical and visual Sensory Considerations: – Texture of sheets, blankets and pajamas

30 Sleeping and Rest (cont.) Set up a bedtime routine – Keep it the same regardless of who is completing it Might include: – Warm bath – Reading a book together – Quiet music or white noise – Low lighting

31 Sleeping and Rest (cont.) Alternative Sleep Options – Tent on the floor or bed – Enclosure over the bed – Sleeping bag – Air mattresses – Higher side rails on bed

32 Household Tasks Organization of Personal Space – Closet – Drawer – Toys Bins – Desk/Work/Study Area Sound and lighting Clutter free Organizational System

33 Household Tasks (cont.) Shopping

34 Household Tasks (cont.) Preparing Food

35 Household Tasks (cont.) Preparing Eating Area – Bring items to the table (ketchup, cups, etc.) – Set table

36 Household Tasks (cont.) Clean Up – Clear the table – Put items in trash – Wipe the table or counters – Wash, dry and put away dishes

37 Household Tasks (cont.) Pet Care – Washing the dog – Brushing the dog – Feeding and changing water bowl – Spending time with animal for bonding and developing relationship

38 Household Tasks (cont.) Helping with Laundry

39 Household Tasks (cont.) Vacuuming Cleaning Floors

40 Household Tasks (cont.) Dusting and wiping surfaces Sort recycling Watering plants Painting Being involved with simple repairs as appropriate

41 Household Tasks (cont.) Carrying groceries into house Putting items away in proper location

42 Outdoor Tasks Yard Work – Fall clean up Raking, bagging leaves, jumping in leaves – Digging Sandbox or plant a garden or window box – Weeding – Carry buckets of dirt to fill in holes – Picking up sticks and put into container

43 Outdoor Tasks (cont.) Yard Work – Watering the garden Watering can or hose – Push wheelbarrow and pull wagon – Stack wood – Move logs or stones – Painting the fence with water – Ride on lawnmower with adult

44 Safety Practice Fire Drills – Have a plan – Have a backpack (headphones, fidgets) – Never too soon to introduce safety signs Stop, walk, don’t walk – Walking in the community safely Hold hands Backpacks with straps/leashes

45 When Teaching A New Skill Know your child Know yourself Provide consistency and predictability Be flexible and creative Explore and experiment Share ideas and network with others Work within comfort levels Take your time and provide a relaxed atmosphere Practice, Practice, Practice

46 In The End….. Have Fun and Don’t Forget To Laugh!!!

47 Resources Available upon request


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