From Flapping to Function:

A Parent's Guide to Autism and Hand Skills
vibrating ring stack

©2016 Barbara Smith


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From Flapping to Function:  A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills
advances the work of Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L, on the development of hand skills to a broader level and will serve as a relevant and worthy resource to both her profession and parents worldwide.... read more....

People with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis face many challenges in their life. These challenges can include social skills, communication skills, cognitive abilities, and also motor movements. Hand skills (also known as fine motor skills) can be greatly affected in a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the book From Flapping to Function: A Parent's Guide to Autism and Hand Skills, Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L shares important information on how these skills are affected, as well as intervention ideas and strategies to help facilitate the best outcomes in fine motor and hand skills..... read

3 Things You’ll Learn in “From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills”
by Christie, also known as MamaOT

Four-year-old Ben prefers to play with his toy cars by lining them up and inspecting them from various angles while flapping his hands in excitement. He becomes upset if one of them gets moved and will either scream until it is put back in its place, or become nearly inconsolable if it is not. When he is not lining up his cars, Ben prefers to clutch his cars in his hands as he walks around, making his hands unavailable for grasping and manipulating other objects. Ben hates to touch developmental materials or foods such as play dough, dry beans, bananas, or yogurt. When presented with fine motor activities such as putting in shapes, building with blocks, or stringing beads, Ben prefers to either put the items in his mouth or throw them.

If this scenario is familiar to you, then you NEED to know about this book!
Read more .........on the Mama OT blog....

The team at Special Needs Book Review has a new guide book to tell you about. From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills  by Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L. is primarily for parents of children and adults on the autism spectrum but educators, new therapists as well as seasoned therapists will also find a wealth of information to help autistic individuals.  Read more
Read more at Special Needs Book Review

OT MOM Learning Activities

Some children on the autism spectrum have very highly developed hand skills, but many struggle to develop their fine motor skills to a level of good hand function. This can affect the child's ability to carry out self care tasks (such as doing buttons), to take part in fine motor activities and to develop adequate handwriting skills.

In this book, Barbara addresses possible factors that may contribute to poor hand function in a child with ASD, and she gives helpful strategies, tips and photos to help parents develop their child's hand skills. Read more..... at:
OT MOM Learning Activities


Amazon Reviews

Simple Ways to Help Kids with Autism to Develop Hand Skills

Autism Parenting Magazine December 2016 edition

Here is a small sample of photos in my book that demonstrate sensory based adaptations that motivate children to engage in hand activities.
  • Add a vibrating device like an electric toothbrush to the end of cord used in stringing
  • Add a squeeze ball or other fun sensory items at the end of cord used for stringing. I have used the bracelet slappers, Koosh balls, rattles and flashlights.
  • A vibrating ring stack can be made any size. I have used long tubes so that children stand while stacking rings A battery operated toothbrush may be wedged inside the noodle used in the ring stack.
  • Fill a sock with sand and sew the ends together. Then use in ring stacks.
  • The Sensory Pull toy involves pulling on rings to make fabric go through the holes in the bottle.
These links on my blog explain how to make them...
Using Sensory Adaptations to Develop Hand Skills
Sensory Squeeze ball Stringing
Sensory Pull Toy

.vibrating stringing

vibrating ring stack          squeezeball sstringing

sensory pull bottle             weighted ring stack