Learning to put on socks in a timely manner after PE lesson at school
Larry, (aged 6 years) his mom and teacher, have all identified putting on socks in a timely manner when changing after a PE lesson as one of the problems to be addressed in Larry's therapy sessions. Now that he has new shoes with a hook and loop fasteners, putting on his shoes is not a problem anymore.
Larry's teacher has noted that Larry gets distracted by the other children when getting dressed after PE.
Observing Larry putting on his knee high school socks when sitting on a chair, she notices the following:
- Larry has difficulty holding his foot steady when he starts to pull the sock over the foot. He also has difficulty getting the toes into the opening of the sock.
- He also seems to have problems gripping the socks firmly as he pulls then up over his heel, seems to loose his grip frequently.
- Larry also seems to have a problem reaching his foot easily when reaching forwards to put the sock over his foot. He rests his foot on the edge of the chair, but it slips off repeatedly.See here for a video of a typically developing 7 year old putting on socks.
Larry is shown how the fold the sock so that the foot part is inserted into the leg part of the sock. This provides a firmer hole to grasp and makes is easier to get the foot into the sock. It also means that a less strong grip is needed to pull the whole length of the sock over the foot.
Larry puts on his socks against the clock. Larry is timed putting on his socks when sitting on the chair. He is then encouraged to do this another time and beat his previous time. Timing him putting on his socks improves his focus on the task and seems to provide a good incentive.
- Generalized joint hypermobility, with poor grip strength.
- Flexibility: limited range of SLR and forwards reach in long sitting, which may impact on his abilite to reach his foot easily.
- Poor flexibility that affects his ability to comfortably reach his foot to pull the sock over his toes.
- Ability to stabilize leg and foot when pulling on the sock
- Ability to grip and pull in a sustained manner
- Poor task focus
- Improve flexibility for sitting: active stretching exercises
- Strengthen hand muscles for grip and pull tasks
- Adapted task: put sock on sitting on the floor, starting with sock folded in. Time task to improve focus.
- Adapted task: put sock on, sitting on a chair, starting with sock folded in.
- Adapted task: put sock on sitting on a chair, and chat to the therapist or mom at the same time.