Backwards Training? This is the very skill mothers of the world practice daily, and college students heading toward OT and PT degrees spend hours honing!
Read on and you will discover a new twist to what you are already doing......and we'll call it "backwards training" .
Let's start with dressing and undressing.
Here are a few ways to prepare your child for dressing.
1. Make him aware of the parts of his body. Tickle, stroke, rub, blow air , or use hair dryer, or tap.
2. Put a clothes pin on skirt, pants or whatever to see if he realizes it's there. Does he try to take it off?
3. Rub his skin in different places with things that vary in texture. Keep trying until he can find (look at or touch with hand) where you applied them.
A. A hot wash rag or ice cube.
B. Sandpaper / cotton ball
C. A piece of cloth dry, then wet
D. Aerosol sprays and powders
E. Shaving cream
F. Cream or lotion
G. Velvet, satin, corduroy, wool, felt, fur, feather, etc.
4. Sit or stand behind him while dressing until he can imitate you as you face him. Use hand over hand.
5. When dressing the child and . later, when guiding him to dress himself, use the same order - what ever is to be put on first must always be put on first.
One order that has worked for others:
Shirt or Dresses
Easiest to start with.
1. Take off all clothes but the last piece, his underpants, for example, which are pulled down to his ankles with one foot pulled out. He should remove them form that point.
2. Take off all his clothes but the underpants which are pulled down to his ankles. He should take both feet out, one at a time.
3. Take off all his clothes but the underpants which are left just above the ankles. Each time leave the underpants a little higher, requiring him to do a little more on his own.
4. When he has mastered his underpants, begin with undershirt, pulled just to the top of his head. He must remove the underpants and undershirt.
5. As with the underpants, tiny step by step, leave the undershirt more on than off, as the child learns to remove it.
A. Some work best putting arms in sleeves first, then shirt neck over the head.
B. Some prefer headfirst, then arms.
C. Identify the tag on the shirt to remember which is back and front.
A. If the child has a problem putting on his jacket one arm at a time; lay the jacket on a table or bed in from of him, front up, neck toward him.
B. Guide his hand into the sleeves.
C. Have him raise his arms, thus flipping the jacket over and behind his head.
D. A jacket with a sleeve lining, a different color or texture form the body lining, is helpful.
A. See that they run smoothly.
B. Attach a large button or string or a large pin (taped shut) to the zipper pull for easier handling.
A. If he can, have him hold the shoe with the tongue help back and the thumb of the other hand a heel.
B. Tap the proper foot, so he will lift it.
C. Have him put his toe in.
D. Have him hold either side of the shoe and wiggle it as he pulls.
E. Have him tap the shoe on the heel.
Have him undress and dress at the same time daily to establish a pattern.
First thing in the morning and bedtime are the most natural time to work on undressing and dressing.
It is good to have him undress and dress fully (with help) when learning, for an overall idea.
Taking off is easier than putting on, it's just pushing and pulling - and he will learn where on his body a piece of clothing should go.
Use loose fitting, comfortable clothes. Avoid tight neck shirts, belts, buckles and laces. Elastic waist pants are good. Have shoes fit well and stay on.
Most children do well sitting on the bed or on a chair where their feet touch the floor. Some prefer sitting on the floor. A few choose to undress and dress lying on their backs.