As a mom to a child with Global Dyspraxia, the challenges of breaking down skills into manageable steps is challenging. And having the same child have Sensory Processing Disorder or (SPD) makes its it extra challenging.
Dyspraxia is a motor planning disorder that makes learning and completing motor tasks very difficult. Skills like writing, coloring, and cutting can be affected. As are those of running, riding a bike and even talking. For those new to my site, I have more information located on it about the disorder.
SPD, is a disorder that affects how her nervous system processing information that we take in from all our senses. For Elizabeth, all the sensory information feels wrong or offensive to her.
We have worked so hard to have Elizabeth achieve as much independence as possible. Like most people who have Dyspraxia, she wants to do something by herself, but can’t. This makes her frustrated.
One of the things Elizabeth loves to do is cook in the kitchen with me, I really wanted to take this time to share with you about a kitchen tool that has really helped us. ANYTIME, we have to open a can or lid for recipe, she hands it to me to open. I really want to teach her how to do this but I am so fearful that if she does it too quickly or with too strong of a push or grip on something, she will cut her hand. I have tried to do hand over hand to help her but that can get tricky and of course a big dangerous is there are too many hands holding a can while she learns how to safely pull off the lid. It is especially hard when you are working with a can with a pull top.
I love when she has that look of happiness and pride when she can do something and I equally hate when she looks disappointed as if to say “Here is one more thing, I can’t do yet”. With that in mind, please take a look at the tool that you see in the picture. It is a very easy to use open from Kuhn Rikon. It has helped us so much, it was not designed as a therapy tool but it really works like one…in my opinion.
It helps Elizabeth open most bottles or lids. The curved tip on the one end slides under the pull top of the can and then the rounded part just kind of rolls as she pushes down and ….YES SUCCESS! Her hand does not have to touch near the sharp edge. I do stay right with her as she does it(safety first) because with dyspraxia, some days are better than others but SHE is DOING it! and the look on her face is AWESOME!
The opener has helped Elizabeth open cans with no pull top, and a glass rootbeer bottle with a lid.
Please know that we had good luck in breaking down the steps needed to use the opener, we repeated them a number of times…but the success came. Also, quite fun to her is that the opener comes in so many colors and we could get hot pink ( her favorite color!)
I wanted to share that I got so excited about Elizabeth’s success that I called the company to tell them…I spoke with a woman who was so very nice and really quite happy to hear our “can-opener story” She shared with me that other customers have told her similar stories of how their products have helped them. With that in mind I would love to give you the website for the company, maybe there will be something else on their site that will help your child.
Anyway, I wanted to share this with you…I also waited until we had had it a while to really test it out….we got it in December 2013. Again, it has worked for us….I hope you find it helpful too.
I offer this out because these little successes we share with our children are so important and we always try to help them anyway we can. And I want Elizabeth to know that there are tools to use that can help her and that it is okay to rely on them as a step toward more independence. Good luck and I wish you a good week.