Monday, May 5, 2014

Strategies to Teach Clothing Fasteners

Here are some well thought-out tips from one of our OTs, Kathryn Mason:


The following are some strategies that may be helpful for teaching dressing. Add the extra practice activities or modifications if the child has difficulty progressing to the next level.


Be sure the child can identify the words you use in training (zipper catch, zipper tab, buttonhole, armhole, collar, heel, etc.) before beginning practice.

Practice with clothing that is large, which will be easier to get on. Large snaps, large buttons, loose buttonholes and big zippers will also make practice easier.

Use solid colored clothing with contrasting colored zippers or buttons, rather than a busy pattern.

Have a “dress-up box” with varied clothes to make practice fun.

Unbuttoning is easier to learn than buttoning.

Toggle buttons are the easiest to learn, as the buttonhole is a loop extending past the fabric. If you have toggle buttons available, start with them before progressing to the round buttons and slot buttonholes.

Soft, stretchy fabric will be easier to use than thick fabric such as stiff denim. Sweaters and PJs are great to practice with as they have large buttons. Start with 1 inch or larger buttons, decreasing size as the child masters the larger button.

Stand behind the child as you assist him, so your hands make the same motions his hands should.

Realize that girls’ clothes and boys’ clothes generally button from opposite sides, so ideally practice with clothing for the correct gender.

Buttoning pants should be saved for last.

Thx, Kathy, for putting this all together!  Will share more of her tips in future posts.

No comments: