Monday, June 25, 2012

Fine Motor Taskboxes

When first preparing a student for the TEACCH structured work system, we first start with simple fine motor taskboxes. Most of the time, students at this level are working on fine motor goals anyway so this is a great starting point.

In my classroom, the purpose for the structured work system is primarily INDEPENDENT task completion. Therefore, we always introduce each of our taskboxes during an isolated one-on-one session and continue working on it until the student can complete it independently in isolation. During this time we may begin introducing the TEACCH structured work system through using VERY simple tasks such as lacing one bead on a string or putting three pegs in a pegboard.

This goes back to a very fundamental part of special education especially in the MD classroom which is focusing on one goal at a time and typically performing a task analysis of each goal to see what the steps to reaching that goal would be. This is exactly what I do when planning student IEPs and even though a student may not have a goal for the TEACCH center, it is a routine in my classroom and each routine needs to be broken down just like each IEP goal to ensure my students' success.

Therefore, I would not put a child at the TEACCH work system center with for the first time with three taskboxes they are also seeing for the first time. This is just asking for a meltdown! It would be the equivalent to expecting a student to complete an addition with regrouping worksheet when they haven't even begun addition yet.

Here are some examples of where we would start:

Pegs: place pegs in hole (for some students you may need to remove the lid if this is too hard)

Pom-Pom Tweezers: use tweezers to move pom-poms from one cup to the other. This is a tricky one!  Variations could include using beginner's chopsticks or tongs and/or bigger pom-poms or cotton balls. To make it tricker add a lid to the second cup.

Clothespins: pinch the clothespins to get them off the box, then push them through X slot on canister (remove lid to make it easier)

Some wonderful other ideas can be found in these awesome books:

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