RecyclingOT's Videos

File Organizer Fine-Motor Activity for Individuals with Developmental disabilities 2m40s

File Organizer Fine-Motor Activity for Individuals with Developmental disabilities

I love activities that are versatile and free! I made this activity out of a file organizer that I found at work and detergent/dishwasher soap plastic bottles. This video demonstrates how I use heavy duty scissors to cut up plastic bottle handles to create small shapes that can be attached or removed from the file organizer or other similar objects. (I apologize that I haven’t thought up a good name for these objects, yet….) There are many benefits to this activity and here are just a few: 1) The plastic is vibrant and colorful and can be used for color matching or sorting on the file organizer levels. 2) The file organizer creates a vertical plane activity that promotes visual attention, reaching and upright posture. 3) The plastic pieces can be cut into smaller or larger sizes. Use larger or smaller plastic bottles to control your size options. 4) Some individuals will be best at removing the shapes. That’s easier than attaching them! Choose your options according to the individual's skill level. 5) The file organizer can be rotated to explore how the individual is most successful in attaching or removing the shapes. 6) When plastic gets lost, simply cut up more bottles! No expensive pieces to replace! 7) The individuals need to stabilize with one hand while attaching or removing the pieces. For some people that is a skill that needs to be worked on! 8) The file organizer may be placed on top of a box so that the client is reaching and working on an upright posture. 9) Movement can be incorporated into the activity by setting up a box of plastic shapes across the room or on the floor so that the individual needs to walk across the room or move high and low to retrieve materials. 10) It feels good to slide the plastic pieces across the file organizer. Some individuals will focus on the sensory aspects as they have fun touching, sliding and pulling the materials. Please be sure that you keep small objects away from children or adults with developmental disabilities who may put them in their mouth, creating a choking hazard. By the way, parents may create this activity for their typically developing preschool age children as they work on color matching/sorting and manipulation skills. Learn about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Vertical Board  Stencil Activity for  Individual with  Autism 1m49s

Vertical Board Stencil Activity for Individual with Autism

Its easy to draw and cut out a simple stencil from a folder or other cardboard. Its so easy, I suggest making a new and different one every day for children or adults with or without developmental disabilities. The individuals may work at a table, on an angled book stand on the table, the floor or work while standing at a white board as shown in the video. This activity promotes the following skills: 1. Visual attention to the materials since they are directly in front of one’s face 2. Strengthening shoulders through reaching and pressing 3. Stabilizing the stencil while coloring (bilateral hand skills) 4. Eye-hand coordination 5. Sensory stimulation to eyes, muscles, joints, vestibular system while pressing to color and wiping the board clean, as well as walking side to side and high/low to reach all parts of the board. The client shown in the video loves pictures. She has a very limited vocabulary but “pictures” is one of her favorite words. Using stencils enables her to make her very own pictures while working on the above skills. It takes a lot of trial and error to find successful activities, but its very rewarding when you do! Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Moose in the Grand Canyon 2m39s

Moose in the Grand Canyon

It is always exciting to see moose, but especially at the majestic Grand Canyon! This video shows the child and parent moose feeding in the southern rim woods. Another video captures them hanging out on a ledge surrounded by awe inspiring scenery. Hubby and I walked down to the bottom, spent 2 nights at Phantom Ranch and walked back up. We only saw moose while walking around the rim, but I am grateful that we were able to safely film while so close to them. These moose are used to tourists! Learn about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Multi-sensory Switch  Activities for Individuals  with Developmental  Disabilities2m01s

Multi-sensory Switch Activities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Its more fun to engage in hand activities when activating sensory rich electronic devices such as an aquarium lamp, massager, fan or music. I set up a table with a control panel that plugged into an electric outlet. The yellow push panel switch and the 2 electric cords (to lamp and massager) plugged into the control panel. The control panel has settings so that the device(s) can 1. go on or off when the yellow switch is pressed 2. the devices stay on as long as the switch is pressed or 3. a timer is set so that it stays on after pressed for a select amount of time as shown in the video. The clients in the video are enjoying the “cause and effect” relationship of pressing the switch to activate devices. I think that they appreciate the control they have to make the lamp and massager go on whenever they want. The sensory and novelty aspects of this set-up certainly make ring stacks and insertion tasks more engaging. Notice the large rings on the table that can be placed over the lamp. This activity can be adapted to encourage exercise by placing the materials (e.g. rings or bean bags) on the floor or across the room so that walking and moving up and down are required. The young lady sitting at the table loves the sensory devices (radio, lamp, fan and massager) so I hope that I can use them to motivate her to get out of her seat and move! Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Pigs on Grand Canyon Rim 1m32s

Pigs on Grand Canyon Rim

The pigs near the rest rooms on the southern Grand Canyon rim didn't seem to mind the tourists. I think the look on the pig's face is funny as he listens to an Asian language. Any ideas on what she is saying? It seems like using selfie sticks and taking photos of young girls sitting precariously on a ledge above the canyon were common in certain cultures! Learn about occupational therapy and activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Mules Working in the Grand Canyon 1m43s

Mules Working in the Grand Canyon

Hiking down and up the Grand Canyon is not only thrilling, it’s a total sensory experience that any occupational therapist would want to share! The colorful scenery is visual candy! I spend much of my life reading books so having grandiose views is a therapeutic break for my eyes. I naturally moved my gaze back and forth between near vision (watching my feet so that I didn't trip) and far vision. This is great if you have challenges with binocular vision like I do. It was a living 3 D viewer! I love the smells, including mule dropping which are not nearly as bad as dog waste. Of course, the air also provides sensational olfactory stimulation, too! I love the taste of Arizona water. I filter the water I drink at home because I don’t like the taste, so I really appreciated my frequent gustatory hydration experiences on the trails. When not chatting with hubby and other trekkers, I loved the sounds of silence, occasionally interrupted by the auditory stimulation of running streams, the Colorado River and wildlife. Carrying a backpack provides that same proprioceptive stimulation to muscles and joints that therapists love to talk about. Fortunately, I only carried my clothing, snacks and water because the Phantom Ranch provided shelter and meals. I love not having to cook…..I had opportunities for tactile stimulation when I bonded with a resting mule and discovered how painful it is to accidentally touch a cactus! My vestibular system had a good work out with the ups and downs and turning around to take in the 360 degree views. Now let’s not forget about the interoception sensory system! It was very much on my mind as I thought about food, drinking, my aches and pains, respiration and needing an out house is. Learn about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.fromflappingtofunction.com

Light Box  Adaptations for  Occupational  Therapy 1m21s

Light Box Adaptations for Occupational Therapy

Light boxes are easy and inexpensive to make. Simply place a flashlight or other type of light inside an opaque plastic container. The light box shown in the video was purchased from a company that makes products for the blind. It’s pretty bright….. Note that I covered the boards with colored filter sheets to avoid a bright white light shining in anyone’s face. If you work with individuals with seizure disorders, please consult your health care professional before working with lights. The video demonstrates three fine motor-activities that occupational therapists frequently use to develop hand skills: 1)Simple insertions- I cut a hole in the bottom and top of a cardboard box placed on top of the light box. My client’s visual attention is drawn to the light as he inserts the objects. 2)Placing objects into the small containers attached to the top of the light box. This client enjoys sorting by color and the light box adds extra pizazz …. 3)A pegboard frame is placed on top of the lightbox so that light shows through the openings where the pegs are to be inserted. Now that you see the light…. See how many other adaptations you can create! Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Sensory Lamp Ring  Stack  for People with  Autism  Spectrum Disorders 1m35s

Sensory Lamp Ring Stack for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Children and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities often love lights. They are attracted to them, especially in a darkened room. The woman in this video has Down syndrome, is nonverbal and legally blind. She seeks sensory stimulation by rocking in her seat and shaking objects. Adapting the beautiful aquarium lamp to be used as a ring stack motivates her to use her hands in a more functional way…..to stack rings. She loves it! The other client shown in the video is on the autism spectrum. He has a very short attention span and avoids touching objects. He typically only looks briefly at objects in his hands- often dropping them before using them. The lamp light helped him to visually attend long enough to grasp rings and then stack. You may make similar ring stack activities using an electric or battery- operated lamp. Be sure that the lamp is the type that will not get to hot. I have used the light up children’s toothbrushes and toys to make light up rings stacks by attaching them to the top of a dowel. Use shower rings or cut plastic to whatever size you need to make rings. The large rings shown in the video were cut from blue and red plastic coffee containers. Adapting a lamp into a successful ring stack activity is just one of the many adaptations you will learn about in my books and blog. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.FromFlappingtoFunction.com

Prevocational  Skills and Sensory  Processing  Disorders 1m49s

Prevocational Skills and Sensory Processing Disorders

My client has pretty good fine-motor skills! She loves to cut with scissors and name pictures. She is on the autism spectrum and has many sensory processing challenges that result in • frequent rocking and other movement • jumping out of her seat to touch others • easily distracted • difficulty performing complex fine motor tasks such as cutting on lines While it is great that she provides the vestibular (movement) sensory stimulation that her body craves through rocking and bouncing on her cushion, it is not safe or effective to do so while using scissors. In the video you will see the following sensory strategies: • she uses a seat cushion all day to receive extra movement stimulation • I provide deep pressure to her right hand to help her stabilize the straight edge • I press down on her shoulders to decrease rocking movements while using scissors. • She has the option of performing other tasks (not cutting) while seated or standing. I am an occupational therapist and In my book From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills I explain that flapping and other repetitive movements are fine since they help the person to self-regulate. However, we also want her to learn functional hand skills. Read my book to learn lots of strategies that help children or adults on the autism spectrum to develop hand skills. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com http://www.fromflappingtofunction.com

Spelling with Legos Builds Hand Skills 1m40s

Spelling with Legos Builds Hand Skills

I don't follow sports but my clients do! This young man is excited about the Super Bowl. He is non-verbal but talks about them using his communication device. He loves to spell, but is not too fond of using his hands, especially both hands together. The video demonstrates my client learning to connect the large Duplo Lego Bricks to spell out his favorite teams. This is a lot easier to do when stabilizing the base with one hand while pushing the bricks down. As you can see this activity works on 1) motor control 2) strength (pushing bricks onto base) 3) sequencing to spell in the correct order 4) scanning and problem solving to find the needed blocks to spell Start out with only a few large Duplo Lego bricks. Use smaller ones and add more words or letters to sort through to add challenge. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Lacing Shapes to  Develop Eye-Hand  Coordination 2m54s

Lacing Shapes to Develop Eye-Hand Coordination

Children love lacing boards and it’s a great way to develop eye-hand coordination. When you make your own plastic lacing shapes you can individualize according to your child's needs. Make fewer and larger holes for younger children. Older children may enjoy the challenge of lacing 2 different shapes together. Involve your child in choosing the theme and colors. Try creating seasonal and holiday themes such as lacing stars, trees, hearts, snowmen or shamrocks. Be creative and enjoy all these free materials found in your recycling bin! Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Clothespins Bowl  Activity for Sensory Processing  Disorders 1m08s

Clothespins Bowl Activity for Sensory Processing Disorders

Children and adults with a sensory processing disorder will love watching the bowl spin before or after attaching clothespins to the rim. Squeezing clothespins strengthens hands and promotes bilateral hand skills. I love taking the familiar activity of attaching clothespins to a box rim or suspended cord and adding this new spin on it! Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Recycling OT Hoola Hoop Ring Stack 1m59s

Recycling OT Hoola Hoop Ring Stack

When a broken hoola hoop was delivered to my desk, I turned it into unusual ring stacks. The video shows a client who is blind and enjoys repetitive fine-motor tasks. He later learned how to sort the rings according to tactile qualities. However, sighted clients may be able to sort the rings by color. For example, blue rings on the left hoop end and red rings on the right hoop end. I attached a flat object to the center of the hoop to help stabilize it under the chair. You may choose to use a bag of sand or different type of heavy object. This activity may be adapted to perform on the person’s lap or on the table depending on the client’s abilities and preferences. In any case, I love how the set up encourages tactile exploration in front and to his sides, trunk rotation and crossing midline. My clients certainly enjoy learning a new twist to a familiar task that is at their cognitive and motor skill level. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Fidget Tools for Sensory Processing and Anxiety Disorders 9m25s

Fidget Tools for Sensory Processing and Anxiety Disorders

This video demonstrates a variety of fidget tools or toys designed to help children or adults with sensory processing disorders and/or anxiety to promote focus and decrease agitation. Learn more about sensory processing disorders, autism and activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Where is Abe Lincoln? 1m01s

Where is Abe Lincoln?

Salvadore Dali's Abraham Lincoln boggles my mind. As I walk closer his face transitions into a nude woman!!! See him at the museum https://thedali.org/ Visit my website and blog at: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Hungry Begging Bird! 1m19s

Hungry Begging Bird!

Who doesn't love to feed a begging animal? I enjoyed meeting him during my vacation. Filmed in Sarasota, Florida. Check out that neck!!! http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Birds and  Alligators at  Myakka River Park 1m41s

Birds and Alligators at Myakka River Park

I don't recommend getting this close to alligators but they were quite busy sunbathing. Actually, we weren't as close as it seems. I love the wildlife at Myakka River Park in Florida! http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Oh..... Dear! 1m07s

Oh..... Dear!

Its always a thrill to come across deer at Myakka River State Park. Please visit my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Cute Goats with  Excellent Sensory  Motor Skills 1m32s

Cute Goats with Excellent Sensory Motor Skills

I have to share these cute goats at a farm in Fruitville, Florida. I love their playfulness and energy, as well as balance and coordination! I find it therapeutic to watch them leap on and off the benches.... Learn about sensory motor activities and adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Color Matching Buckle Fine-Motor Activity 1m58s

Color Matching Buckle Fine-Motor Activity

This activity helps children and/or adults with developmental disabilities develop skills such as 1. color matching 2) eye-hand coordination 3) hand strengthening when pulling or pushing the shapes on and off the cord 4) dexterity to buckle or unbuckle. 5) sequencing several steps such as opening a buckle, removing the shapes and inserting into the container. Make your color matching buckle fine-motor activity by 1. Cutting strips of cord or fabric of different colors 2. Cut plastic or fabric pieces to color match. cut a hole in the centers. 3. Tie a buckle half to each end of a piece of cord 4. Cut a slot in a large container’s lid for insertions Be sure that you buy buckles that are all the same size and interchangeable. Larger buckles are easier to manipulate....but you may want to use smaller buckles to create challenge. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Bilateral Control Activity for Client with Spasticity 1m19s

Bilateral Control Activity for Client with Spasticity

My client has spasticity that makes it difficult to use his hands together. He is unable to manipulate objects on his tray, but enjoys stabilizing a container with his left hand to insert objects. He loves to use his hands and he loves to talk. But he has learned that his hands work much better when not talking! At this stage he only has to perform one step before being rewarded with an opportunity to chat. Hopefully, as skill develops, he will be able to remove all of the cards before the "chat reward". How to Make: 1) Cut a long strip of fabric. 2) Tie short pieces of fabric or string along the long strip. 3) Punch holes in picture cards, plastic or other materials. This is the first activity I designed for him where he is able to use both hands together in midline. He needs to continuously reposition his hands to find the materials. It was just the right amount of challenge! Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Hemiplegia Adaptation: Making it Easy to Stabilize Materials 1m40s

Hemiplegia Adaptation: Making it Easy to Stabilize Materials

The client shown in the video typically has her right hand fisted against her body. My goal is to maintain range of motion by reaching for objects to insert into the container with her left hand as she grasps the handle. The large blue container is tied to the table so that she is unable to pull it into her lap. This individual prefers to be busy, so this adaptation serves to 1) provide a repetitive task 2) maintain or improve range of motion 3) motivate to engage in bilateral tasks 4) Open up her fisted hand during a functional task. She refuses to wear a splint to prevent contractures. How to make: Simply cut an opening in a large detergent or kitty litter bottle so that the desired container can be wedged inside. I cut an opening where her knuckles were rubbing and then put tape around the edges. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Vibrating Ring  Stack Motivates a  Deaf/Blind Client 1m23s

Vibrating Ring Stack Motivates a Deaf/Blind Client

A deaf-blind individual with developmental disabilities is motivated to engage in hand activities when they vibrate. I took the motors from a vibrating cushion and inserted them inside the base of the ring stack. The one shown in this video is electric but I have used a variety of battery-operated motors to make lots of activities vibrate- including insertion tasks, cone stacking, stringing and shape sorters. Check some of them out: https://rumble.com/v3cvu1-how-vibration-helps-children-with-autism-or-sensory-processing-disorders.html Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com

Adapting Velcro Activity for Sensory Processing Disorders 1m49s

Adapting Velcro Activity for Sensory Processing Disorders

Ripping Velcro off backings is a great sensory activity because pulling stimulates the muscles, tendons and joints and at the same time provides auditory feedback with the ripping sound. The Loop Velcro covered board shown in the video can be positioned to promote reaching, trunk rotation and visual attention since the materials on the wall are easier to see than if on the table. If children or adults with developmental disabilities have difficulty learning how to attach loop and hook sides together, simply apply bright nail polish to the non-velcro side that you want facing up. Ripping longer or stronger pieces of Velcro from backings requires using both hands together-helping individuals with sensory processing disorders to develop bilateral hand skills, visual engagement and sequencing skills. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website and blog: http://www.RecyclingOT.com http://www.RecyclingOT.blogspot.com