Life Skills Videos & Tips

Putting on a Belt

If  you think about it, putting on a belt is a pretty complicated task with several steps and  a considerable amount of motor planning. First you have to decide which hand you want to tighten the belt with after you you’ve completed a task you haven’t even started. Then you decide which loop to begin threading your belt though and proceed through the loops you can see.  You continue to try and thread your belt through belt loops you can’t see behind your back. For someone with a cognitive disability and motor planning issues, this can be one frustrating skill to accomplish. 

As I was teaching Ian this life skill, I realized just how complicated  this task really is. Then I realized that it was not the task of putting the belt that is challenging, it is putting on a belt while you’re wearing your pants. Once I realized this I showed Ian a three step process that made it much easier  for him to put his belt on, getting ready for school has become easier.  Now the challenge is remembering to put the belt on before the pants go on.

The four step process is:

  • Lay the pants on your lap with front of the pants facing up.
  • Decide which hand you want use to tight the belt and begin putting the belt through the first belt loop
  • Fold the top of the pants over so your are now looking at the back of the pants.
  • Continuing putting the belt through the belt loops until you reach the front of the pants.

Keep in mind it may take several times before the process consistently gets started the right way.

How to Tie Shoes

Ian was having a very difficult time learning to tie his shoes. No matter what I did he just wasn’t getting it,  It eventually dawned on me that Ian was not seeing what I was seeing as I demonstrated shoe tying. I decided to make a video from the first person perspective with slow and deliberate instructions. After watching the video below a few times Ian got it.

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