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What are involved in the daily needs training for special needs child ?

Recently, we added another happy customer to our list.  Her request was for a special needs tutor to go to her house to train her autistic son on daily needs and motor skills.

So, what entails daily needs training?

Our special needs tutor has kindly shared with us the type of activities he will be doing in the daily needs training. Here is the list:

OT Activities

Long term Goal – patient able to engage, respond and participate in activities within 6 months

Short term goals –

Able to trace alphabet and 0 to 10 with index finger within 1 month

Able to hold pencil and draw straight lines 5 cm long

Able to do matching of alphabets and numbers using cards

Sensory stimulation

Tactile warm and cold objects

Soft and hard

Rough and smooth surfaces

Prickly ball and plasticine


Bells and music





Art and craft

Cut and paste

Using fingers and hands with water colour



Visual discrimination ( mainly on worksheets using pointing of fingers and pencils if possible )

Aim is to encourage use cognitive functions and engagement and use of vision to gain information

Figure ground

Scanning and point

Spot the differences

Memory and matching

Knowing parts of the body

Half shapes and matching


Social skills


Eye contact when spoken to

Saying “please and thank”

Taking orders

Saying uncle and aunty to elders

Activities of daily living

Packing bag

Putting on shoes

Washing plates

Putting on clothes

Tidying room

Brushing teeth and combing

Fine motor and vestibular (overall body balance)

Grasping and pinching with marbles and other small objects

Moulding and shaping with Theraputty /Plasticine

Clothes pegs and clips to strengthen fingers and hands

Weight training for wrist and arm strength

Squatting and standing for overall balance

Threading of strings with beads

Ball throwing and catch for overall balance

Theraband ( large rubber band ) for shoulder and elbow strength


How to know if your children have special needs?

There are a number of times when parents come to us, full of angst and anxiety because their children are performing below – par.  Later, we would normally learn that their children were diagnosed with special needs.  This article serves to create the awareness of special needs in children.

Below are the more commonly found special needs, symptom and characteristic :

Austism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) or autism.

A development disorder that affect individuals typically in the way they communicate, form relationships and interact with others.  Austism may also affect the individual’s learning and information processing style.

In Singapore, the government has grants for parents who wish to learn how to take care of autistic child.  Please approach the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) for the grants.

The good news is that a autistic child can possess extra-ordinary talent in certain area – it can be music, arts or even Maths and others.


It is characterized by difficulty with learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension.

Some common symptoms are the child is having mirror writing, inversion in the words they write and simply illegible handwriting.

Your child has difficulty in reading, despite receiving the most conventional remediation.

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit(AD)

The most obvious symptom is lack of concentration.

– Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things and frequently switches from one activity to another.

– Having difficulty maintaining focus on one task

– Become bored with the task after only a few minute.

– Having difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others.

Hyperactivity Disorder(HD)

– Talk non-stop

– Dash around, touching or playing anythng

– Having trouble sitting still

– Constantly in motion.

– Fidget and squirm n their seats.


This disease has a wide spectrum of disorders as not all people have the same symptoms; they vary enormously from person to person.

Some common signs and symptoms are:

1. Obsessive interests.

2. Speech is flat, monotonous, or unusually slow or fast.

3. They are upset if there’s disruption to their routines.

4. Weak social skills.  Children with AS find it hard to interact with others ad they usage of gestures may appear lacking or inappropriate, and eye contact may be very limited.

5. Lack of motor skills.  e.g. tying shoe laces may require extra effort.

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