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Using Stickers in Therapy

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When pulling up pants or getting your shirt aligned, or trying to get your socks on, sometimes it is just hard to reach some spots. I am not sure why, but stickers are a big motivator for kids. Some children with tactile hypersensitivity do not like having stickers put on their skin, which of course is an indicator that they need to have it done to them more often.

Can’t reach your bottom? Can’t get to your bra strap? Can’t get to the bottom of your foot? I will put stickers all over a child so that they have to use a variety of different movements while they find the stickers to take them off.

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Practice with stickers. Stick them all over, especially on the tough spots, and then try to find them and pull them off.

It’s great for those with spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy to try to get to their foot in preparation for getting socks on.

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Put them on the back of a client’s pants and have them try to find them all. It’s a good precursor to working on pulling pants up.

Put the stickers on the forearm to work on supination. Put them on the bottom of the foot to work on the movements used in lower extremity dressing. Put them on their backside to simulate reaching around to pull up pants. Put them on their stomach and back to simulate the position of pulling a shirt down.

Pulling stickers off works on the fine tip pinch. You can bend an edge of the sticker up to make it easier to pinch it and pull it off. If a child does not like having the stickers on them, you can slip them on while playing another game. That way it helps him get used to having things touch his skin.

Materials:

  • Stickers

Skills:

  • Range of Motion
  • Sensation — Tactile desensitization
  • ADLs, dressing
  • Body awareness
  • Fine tip pinch
  • Motor planning

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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