Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cost-Saving Measures--Make Your Own Chair Fidgets

One of my teachers for students with autism asked me about a band that a student's parent had sent in.  She wanted to know if it was okay to attach it to the chair legs in the student's resource classroom.  Oh, and by the way, the mom wanted me to call her.  Sure, I said.

After speaking with the very nice mom I told her I would probably put bands on a few more chair legs in the resource room, so the student would not feel singled out from among his classmates.  Theraband doesn't grow on trees so how to provide something with a similar function, but free?

Voila!  Those t-shirts I've been slicing up all fall might do the trick!  This morning I wrapped a 6" wide band of the t-shirt around one leg of the chair, then pulled with all my might to stretch it across to the other front leg.  Then, both ends of the strap were secured to the chair legs, using Vetrap (AKA Coban). 

I'm hoping it will stay in place for a long time and other students will also benefit from having the opportunity to wiggle and bop their feet around, in a quiet kind of way, during class.

Update 12-12-2013--needed to redo the Vetrap this morning since one side was sliding down.  Made sure the Vetrap was contacting the chair leg several inches above and below the band.

Update:  3-2-2014--My teacher buddy informed me that the student frequently wound the family-supplied  band around her feet while sitting, causing a potentially dangerous situation when standing up without first unwinding her feet--several "reminders" had not improved the situation.  Eek!


Ginger said...

I just came across this today. I am speaking to teachers this week about sensory solutions. I am going to test this idea and see if other tips come up. As a shorter adult (5'0) I am seeing this as a way for me to not have my feet up in a seat all the time! Thanks for the idea.

School System Occupational Therapist in Virginia said...

Cool! The material stretches out pretty fast so have lots of fabric and tape on hand! Be sure to watch out for latex sensitivities to any materials used.