Prevocational Skills and Sensory Processing Disorders

Published January 29, 2019

Rumble 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: