Assistive Technology at Home: Easy Adaptations for Daily Living

Adaptations are a way to meet the unique needs of all children, including children with disabilities and special needs. By using adaptations in your home, you can increase your child’s independent participation and learning in everyday childhood routines and activities. Rather than “fixing” a child’s skill deficit, the goal is to “fix” or adapt the environment (activity or routine) where something is not going as expected.

Exploring books can be frustrating for young children. The pages can stick together and be difficult to turn.

  • To make board book pages easier to turn, use a hot glue gun to put a dot of glue at the bottom corner of each page. They will then be separated just enough to allow little fingers to turn them easier. For paper pages, try creating simple tabs of folded duct tape or masking tape on each page.

Mealtime can be a big mess sometimes. Bowls can tip over easily and the food ends up everywhere.

  • To make meal times less messy, create a more steady bowl. Glue a bowl to wider lid or plastic plate. You can also try using a nonslip placemat.

Coloring and writing can be a real challenge when fingers have trouble grasping small, narrow crayons and pencils.

  • To help create a larger gripping area on writing utensils, poke a hole through the top and bottom of an empty prescription bottle or film canister, then slide the utensil through.
  • To help little fingers hold writing utensils more tightly, wrap duct tape or use a soft, rubbery pencil grip on crayons and other utensils.

Bath time can be a slippery time for young children and their parents.

  • To create a smaller contained area for your toddler to explore, use a round laundry basket in the tub.
  • To create a floating ring for your toddler to help your child float, use a pool noodle with the ends taped together.

Playtime is an important part of development, though some children have difficulty sitting without support.

  • To help your child sit independently, use firm pillows or cushions in a horseshoe shape around your child.

Publication date: 2015