I'd like advice about very basic learning materials (including craft materials) — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

I'd like advice about very basic learning materials (including craft materials)


  • Emmeline
    Emmeline Member Posts: 2
    Hello Arlene!
    I have an autistic daughter who is 45. She lives in her own house (near mine) and is supported night and day by care-workers. She has no speech and very limited understanding of language. Nonetheless,she continues to learn, however unwillingly! I'd like to provide her with new and interesting things to do. She listens to a wide variety of music and goes out a lot - but she needs indoor activities to help her focus her attention. I'd like advice about very basic learning materials (including craft materials) and also about how to set up a safe multi-sensory room in her house. She loves bright colours and moving lights. I'd also welcome any ideas you might have on providing music therapy.

  • BusyOT
    BusyOT Member Posts: 76
    Hi Emmeline, not sure I can answer all your queries at once but I'll have a go!
    I'm not a very "arty" OT but strongly believe in the model of person centred active support. This model asks support workers to include the client in every activity that they do - putting clothes in the washing machine, cooking, cleaning, shopping etc etc. I would be encouraging (and possibly teaching) them to ensure that the client was involved in each of their everyday tasks to the best of their abilities (that might be holding the pegs whilst the supporter hangs it on the line). Cooking / baking is a great indoor activity and clients are usually motivated to do it - simple tasks with lots of steps and photo recipes can often help the client to participate. We usually find that if supporters increase the involvement of clients they have less time that they need to fill with art or leisure activities. After daily living tasks we usually recommend that workers scour the shelves of Tesco and Poundland looking for the craft kits that are available (with the assumption that workers will know more about the clients likes and dislikes). Longer term projects like making benches for the garden can also be productive - lots of repetitive sanding, painting etc but with a great end product. You also mention that you would like activities to focus her attention - have you tried a PC with touch screen or a Wii? (You might have to teach the supporters to use it though!!).
    Multi-sensory room - now this is a topic I could go on about all day! If you have a spare room that's fantastic but you could think about making her house a more "sensory environment". I've seen some fabulous bathrooms with light effects whilst the person lies in the bath. Richard Hirstwood's website is a great resource for ideas and materials - http://www.multi-sensory-room.co.uk/ Building a sensory profile (just a list of each of the senses and her likes and dislikes in each category) can be a great tool to start you off and is always interesting to find out what other workers think are her likes and dislikes (e.g does she like a particular feel of clothing?, does she like busy, noisy environments?) from there you can discuss other ideas. For example you mention that she likes bright colours and moving lights - are supporters seeking out community events that have lots of visual stimulation for her?
    Music therapy - proper music therapy is done by professionals (your CLDN might know of someone nearby).
    Hope that is of some help - your questions are so big that I wasn't quite sure where to start (I do a whole day's training on person centred active support and another in sensory processing!). If you have any other questions or would like me to explain some points in more detail please just ask!


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.