We need a level of fine and gross motor skills to be able to manipulate items to be able to carry out self-help skills. For example, we need to be able to form a pincer grasp (putting our index and/or middle finger to our thumb) to hold onto a t-shirt to pull it down. We need enough balance to raise our foot to put trousers on, even when sat on the bed. To support success in self-help skills we can do fine and gross motor tasks that will support the development of motor skills needed for dressing.
We can improve fine and gross motor skills by encouraging participation in everyday activities.
- Get them to open doors to build shoulder and core strength
- Give hand over hand to support when opening packets or lunch boxes or get them to do it if able to
- Encourage picking up smaller items to increase pincer grasp
- Mark make/draw/colour with small crayons or chunky pencils
- Utilise park/playground equipment. Holding onto swing, holding rails to climb, crawling through tunnels, hang from monkey bars or go down the slide
Make things fun! When working on self-help skills with your child, make it as fun as possible. Create games or songs for completing activities or surround the area with your child’s favourite things.
If you are concerned about your child’s communication, contact your GP, Health Visitor or education setting, for advice on how they can make a referral. Alternatively, you can contact your local NHS Speech and Language Therapy service. Our Roles of professionals factsheet can also help you to navigate who go to for support with communication.
How to contact a Speech and Language Therapist? You can contact a Speech and Language Therapist through your local NHS service website, or you can request a referral to a Speech and Language Therapy service via your GP, Health Visitor or education Setting. Alternatively, you can access private Speech and Language Therapy input by searching the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice. (ASLTIP) website. (www.asltip.com)
For further information on the various AAC systems and their pros and cons please visit our website.
You can also access support, information and advice on AAC through the Communication Matters website: www.communicationmatters.org.uk