Increasing Fine Motor Skills

With Silverware

We are working on John cutting his own food into smaller pieces.

So, hand-over-hand to start.

But I was inadvertently pinching, squeezing and hurting his fingers.

So instead, I now very lightly steer any part of the knife handle where his fingers aren’t.

(I do the same maneuver when inspecting his teeth brushing:  I do my best to not interfere with any toothbrush movement he might initiate.)

Pancakes are good for beginner cutting practice.

If he takes a few bites of anything new (and not on his nutritional plan), I accept the small dietary compromise.

And I try to be clever where I put the chair, plate, cup and cutlery, making him cross mid-line at every opportunity.

The rule is:  Mom does less and less.

And he has to stretch, reach, stab and saw.

We practice at home, but the best test is out in public.

I ignore his plate and his requests.

It isn’t pretty. Yet.

It ends up looking like a pile of mush.

And he gets to practice.

I hope this helps a bit with your eating adventures.

Peace be with us,








Bubble Riding, Gum Chewing & Zip Lines

Courage: Expanding Sensory Acceptance By Trying

Our kids can amaze us when they want to.

They have courage and capabilities we routinely underestimate.

We fear for them in all ways, and this causes low expectations.

John has decided he loves zip lines and running around in a bubble.

He’s not so sure he loves chewing gum yet (you can barely see it in his mouth here).

Every day there are opportunities to stretch his capabilities:  Ways he can show bravery.

So, every day, am I the limiting factor?

Are you?

Let them try it.  Whatever they want to try.

Ask, “Do you want to try this?”

And if it takes two hours for a “NO!” to slowly slide into a tentative

“…..yes, I think so…..”,

well then,

that’s what courage looks like for your child.

Celebrate that they are making their lives.

Peace be with us,


Paintball Sensory Overload

Patience Pays Off Because He Wants To

It hurts to get hit.

The helmet is hot, heavy and stinky.

The body pads, ditto.

And yet he wanted to because his friends were.

It took almost two hours of standing on the sidelines, trying to decide.

But eventually, he gave it a try.

And as soon as he got smacked,

he was out of there, off the field and out of his gear.  Fast.

And that was good enough.

His face said it was all worth it.

So, yet again, sensory deficits can step forward into the fray,

but it takes time and intrinsic motivation.

Try this waiting patience with baited hook on your young warriors-to-be at home?

Peace be with us,





Some Ideas to Get Out of the House Faster

Time is our greatest scarcity.   Never enough time to do all we want to do.

And we seem to still be trying to get our morning schedule back on track.

(Due to spring break, daylight savings time, and getting over being sick.)

And we often cope with slow-poke executive functioning.

So, here are some very recent re-direct tricks that may work as well for you.

  • “First one to buckle their seat belt wins!”
  • “Do you want to brush your teeth in the car or in the bathroom?”
  • “Do you want to eat your food at the table or in the car?”
  • “Bye!   Meet you in the car.”

I have given up on trying to make John eat.

I now ask, “Are you hungry?”, and leave it at that.

I will also say, “When you are done eating, put your bowl in the fridge.”

And I try to remember the “please”.

It has always seemed urgent and  important to me as a bio-med mom that he gets his nutritional supplements down the hatch each day.

For those of us who do this, it can be an exhausting daily game of  cajoling him to eat or drink it all.

Another trick that is working well now when John lollygags on eating, and we need to leave the house:

I ask him if he wants “to eat at the table or in the car?”

In fact, I further ask him if he wants to brush his teeth in the bathroom or in the car?

He usually does NOT want to eat in the car.

He does take action based on his decision (which is far more useful in his learning self-regulation than Mom nagging).

Many a school morning, I give up on re-directing him or getting him to move faster.

Instead, I say, “Meet you in the car!”

Either he or I have piled his stuff by the front door, and I just walk out.

Please understand we have back-ward chained the skills to process those decisions.

I have shared previously that I actually back the car down the driveway.

I have even driven around the cul-de-sac, as if I were driving away without him.

Most mornings I try to catch him (back) at the front door, so we can practice the key in the lock.

He wants to celebrate winning, but I remind him whoever buckles the seat belt first wins.

The photo of John grinning here was one morning when he “won”.

And I don’t always “let” him win.

I do my best to make it an honest, funny, laughing competition.

Maybe some of these ideas will help your mornings.

Peace be with us,