Candy is not the only great thing about Halloween. It is a chance to work on fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination while having fun at the same time. From ghosts to witches, there are a number of activities you child or student can do that will help increase fine motor skills. For some children and adults with disabilities, struggle with fine motor skills. These activities are a chance to improve the coordination between the brain and the muscles including dexterity and motor control. Click on the links below.
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Spina Bifida is a birth defect that affects the spine and the spinal cord. The membranes surrounding the spinal cord do not close properly.
Facts and Statistics
- Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida.
- There is no known cause
- Accumulation of fluid in the brain affects 70% of children.
- 40% of shunts fail or become in affected and need to be changed within a year.
- It can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way.
- Spina Bifida might cause physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe depending on the size and location of the opening in the spine.
- Myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spina bifida.
- Spina Bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born.
- Some people with Spina Bifida may never experience symptoms
- Spina Bifida occurs between the 3rd and 4th week of pregnancy.
- Children with Spina Bifida may have difficulty with math, reading comprehension and learning.
- Common challenges to learning include, fine and gross motor skills, spatial orientation, communication difficulties and attention and memory.
- Some children with Spina Bifida also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Hispanic women have the highest rate of having a child affected by spina bifida, when compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women. Data from 12 state-based birth defects tracking programs from 1997-2007 were used to estimate the total number of pregnancies affected by spina bifida compared to the total number of live births (also called the prevalence of spina bifida) for each racial/ethnic group:
- Hispanic: 3.80 per 10,000 live births
- Non-Hispanic black or African-American: 2.73 per 10,000 live births
- Non-Hispanic white: 3.09 per 10,000 live births
One of the ways to improve fine motor skills is helping children and adults develop cutting skills also help with pre-writing skills and pencil control. Below are resources that will help in developing and teaching scissor skills.
Cutting Skill Development
2 years- snips with scissors
2.5 years- Cuts across a 6-inch piece of paper
3.5 years- Cuts along a 6-inch line
4.5 years- Cuts out a circle
6-7 years- Cuts a variety of shapes and pictures.
Resources on Teaching Scissor Skills
Practice Scissor Skills- The following links below include practicing cutting straight lines, curved lines and circles, zig-zag lines and mixed lines.
10-page scissor skills packet (Mama’s Learning Corner)- geared towards preschoolers and kindergartners.
12 free shapes and cutting page (www.mpmideas.com)- geared towards preschool aged children
Construction truck scissor cutting practice sheets (MO & MH)- Kids will practice cutting lines.
Cut, copy and glue for spring (Your Therapy Source)- Free 3-page packet in black and white. Includes a butterfly, ice cream cone and a snail.
Free cutting and coloring pack (Tot Schooling)- Cutting pack features straight, diagonal, curved and zig zag lines.
House scissor practice (Teaching Station)- Download free worksheets. Includes shapes of circles, squares, triangles, and rectangulars.
Printable preschool cutting busy box (Fun with Mama)- post includes ways to teach kids how to use scissors and develop cutting skills
Rocket scissor practice (Teaching Station)- Kids will practice cutting and pasting shapes to make a rocket.
Snake spiral worksheet (www.education.com)- Kids can both color and cut out the spiral design.
Trolls, hair-cutting (Tot Schooling Net)- Several different levels of difficulties.
October is Dyspraxia Month. Developmental Dyspraxia also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) , is a neurological disorder that affects fine and gross motor skills and organization. A child may have difficulty in sing scissors, riding a bike or learning and recalling information.
Medical Sites- The following sites include information on causes, treatment, test and diagnoses of Dyspraxia: