Valuable New Guide Helps Parents Better Understand Autism and Hand Skills From Flapping to Function

From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills explains why many children, as well as adults with autism, do not use their hands in a functional manner. Flapping the hands and lining up small items often replace natural fine motor experiences that are important for the development of hand skills. Readers will learn how to encourage children to use their hands for functional tasks such as dressing, writing and using scissors.

Valuable New Guide Helps Parents Better Understand Autism and Hand Skills From Flapping to Function

From Flapping to Function is an essential guide to how challenges in sensory processing, behaviors, visual skills and executive functioning impact developing hand skills and the many effective strategies that  help children learn. Strategies include how to promote handwriting, use Apps to develop dexterity, create “success only” activities and incorporate sensory reinforcement throughout the day.

Written in parent-friendly language and packed with relatable vignettes, readers will learn how to quickly, easily and inexpensively adapt activities and use effective teaching strategies. Other features in this book include an extensive glossary, resources, and activity photos.

This article was featured in Issue 54 – Surviving Family Challenges

Barbara Smith

Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR /L started out in human services as a live-in residential counselor for nine developmentally disabled men who moved from a large institution into a true home in an upstate New York community. After discovering she had a talent for helping people to be as independent as possible, Barbara earned her master’s degree from Tufts University’s Boston School of Occupational Therapy in 1984. In addition, she has earned certifications in sensory integration and hippotherapy. Barbara has worked for more than 30 years in settings that include public schools, early intervention programs, community residences, state schools, and hippotherapy farms. She is the author of The Recycling Occupational Therapist; The Almost Complete Plastic Bottle Activity Book; Still Giving Kisses: A Guide to Helping and Enjoying the Alzheimer’s Victim You Love; and From Rattles to Writing: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills (winner of a National Parenting Publications Award) . Barbara has also published extensively in trade and parenting magazines and is a nationally recognized speaker and creator of online continuing education courses. Please visit for more information.

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