Teaching Grooming Habits To Special Needs Kids
One of the most popular treatment areas in all of our clinics is the grooming station. We have some variation of this station in each location. In Mansfield, we have a bathroom with a shower. In Katy, we have a bathroom with a shower upstairs as well as a grooming area downstairs. In Allen, we have a great grooming area that is wheelchair accessible, which is important because we have several kiddos in wheelchairs who are learning grooming skills.
Skills We Teach In Our Grooming Stations
So many things happen in our grooming stations! We are working on modifying and expanding these, and we have already added several items by request of our families, who are working on these skills at home. These grooming stations are set up to perform activities like washing your hands or face, as well as skills such as how to use a Q-tip, how to use deodorant, and how to comb your hair. We work on teeth brushing, and even how to put on chapstick!
If you take a look at one of our grooming stations you’ll see that we have several laminated sheets pinned up on the walls. We have a whole notebook on daily personal care organized by section, and it is full of these laminated sheets we can pull out and put up based on the specific skills the kiddos are working on. In this notebook, we have sheets for everything from tying shoes to safety practices such as how to use an oven safely, or how to safely pick up glass.
You might notice that we have lots of cups and toothbrushes. We have several different methods of teaching tooth brushing, depending on the limitations or issues your child struggles with. If your child is struggling with a sequencing issue, we have the task sequenced. Or maybe your child needs practice or needs to learn how to use a mirror. There are so many different ways we can teach this skill!
Independence Is The Goal
This is an area your kiddos will visit a lot, and we are always teaching here. We use this all day every day to teach personal independence skills because our goal, especially in occupational therapy, is to work on our daily living skills and goals and this includes independent grooming. Grooming skills are very important for your kiddo to be able to live alone and function independently in the community.
Your Next Step
In upcoming videos and blogs, I’ll visit this area again to talk about specific parts of it in detail, but I wanted to introduce it to you today so that you can see what we have here and what is available for your child. If you have any questions about our grooming area or teaching grooming skills, give us a call or talk to your therapist.