From Flapping To Function

A Parent's Guide to Autism and Hand Skills - Book Review

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Although I received a copy of "From Flapping to Function" as a gift from the author, the review is unpaid, honest and all mine.

I have used my affiliate link to direct you to the book on Amazon for your convenience; however, it should be readily available from other bookstores and some libraries. If you do purchase the book through the link, I will receive a small commission, which helps support my site.

About The Author:

Barbara A. Smith is an experienced occupational therapist who is passionate about helping children develop functional hand skills, using household items to create fun resources.

She is experienced in working with children on the autism spectrum, both in her OT work and as a parent of a child on the spectrum.

About "From Flapping To Function"

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.

The most appealing part of all these strategies are that they are easily attainable by a parent or teacher on a tight budget. Barbara is not known as The Recycling OT for nothing!

This is a ring stacker made from household items.

It is bigger than regular ring stackers, which makes it easier for a child with poor hand skills to use.

Barbara also shares how she easily adds a vibrating element to her toys, which can help a child with autism to engage with the activity more fully.

How To Use This Book

The book begins with an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other conditions that may coexist with ASD. Feel free to skip these overviews if you are already familiar with the conditions.

The rest of the book is divided into 2 parts.

Part I addresses the challenges that children on the Autism Spectrum face when developing hand skills. This ranges from the way they play and executive functioning, to sensory processing disorder and functional visual skills. This section helps parents to identify what factors may be impacting on their child's hand skills, and gives useful tips and ideas to begin addressing these issues.

Part II contains intervention strategies that are useful in addressing the different factors that can affect a child's functional hand skills. These include teaching strategies that are particularly effective with children on the autism spectrum. Some of her strategies include making fine motor resources larger, noisier or more visually attractive, which can appeal to children with ASD.

Even though Part II is the official "strategies' section, there are loads of useful tips, techniques and advice scattered throughout the entire book, so don't just jump to Part II :-) 

Who Would Benefit From This Book?

From Flapping To Function is a book that is particularly helpful for parents and teachers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially if the child is struggling to attain functional hand skills to cope with self care, fine motor tasks and handwriting.

Most of the suggested activity ideas are geared towards children in Kindergarten and Early Elementary years. However, parents and teachers of older children on the Spectrum who are struggling with hand skills, may find many useful tips and strategies in this book.

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