Rocking Chair/Weighted Fine-Motor Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
I designed the following sensory activity with a specific individual in mind. This is an individual who enjoys shaking, tossing or squeezing sensory-based objects such as squeeze balls. He has been very on edge due to the Christmas holiday and upcoming 10-day break. Many of my adult clients with developmental disabilities love the structure and predictability of a day program- Monday through Friday. They find routine changes a bit scary and discombobulating. I expect BIG smiles when they come marching in after New Years day.
The individual in this video loves repetitive, fine-motor tasks such as stringing, peg and form boards or pushing golf balls with force into a container opening. He is also an individual who can be grumpy and hit you when demands are made. He appears to enjoy the rocking chair’s movement and weighted materials. The long lap cushion is
• Filled with bags of sand and washers for weight/proprioception stimulation
• Covered with felt or fleece for tactile stimulation
• Adapted with plastic coils and stretchy cord to pull or use for stringing tasks and;
• Decked out with fidget balls with a bell inside (covered with Hook Velcro) that can be pulled on and off the felt cushion (acts like loop Velcro) and/or shake to hear bells – proprioception and auditory sensory stimulation.
The choice of whether or not to rock and how much force to use gives him a sense of control over movement that impacts his vestibular sensory stimulation. The individual shown in the video did not appear to be very interested in shaking, pulling or squeezing the sensory items. Hopefully, soon after New Year’s my other client will be chilled out enough to take a turn with this new, fidget sensory tool that provides just the type of sensory stimulation he seeks throughout his day.