Daniel and Dressing


Daniel and dressing 

Following on from the work that we did in the area of diet, Daniel’s family asked for support to teach Daniel to get himself dressed. Our project worker Pete provided strategies and materials to his mum and within 4 sessions over 5 months Daniel was dressing independently.Daniel was increasingly keen to do things for himself and becoming resistant to receiving support from his mum for daily tasks such as dressing. As keen as he was, Daniel struggled with some of the fine motor skills required to be completely independent with dressing and still required help from his mum do up zips and buttons on his clothing. Pete assessed this skill and found that Daniel was unclear on the sequence or technique required.

How we helped

The best way to teach Daniel this was to physically guide him through the process so he experienced the correct sequence and technique time and time again.  This would allow him to develop the motor skills he needed.  Because Daniel could be resistant to receiving this help, we had to begin there.  We introduced a token system where Daniel would earn stars to fill up his token board.  When the board was full the task was finished and it was time to play.  Daniel earned stars when he allowed Pete or his mum to help him.  Complaints quickly reduced and we could then get to work on the motor skills he needed.

To do this Pete, our project worker, provided materials to practice on.  This included pillow cases with zips and buttons added.  This way, Daniel could practice first on larger buttons and zips whilst he learned the right technique.  He could also practice the skills without the added complication of fasteners being out of sight or in awkward positions as they can be when dressing.  This built Daniel’s confidence and his motor skills quickly improved.


Pete introduced these strategies during one session and then carried out one more home visit when Pete and Daniel’s mum took turns to guide him through the tasks.  Daniel then continued to practice these skills with his mum a couple of times a week with Pete on call for advice if required.  As Daniel’s skills improved it was important that his mum knew how to fade out the physical support we had needed to give Daniel initially and Pete demonstrated how best to do this.  As his skills and confidence with fasteners grew Daniel naturally transferred them to dressing.  He can now dress himself independently including doing up zips and buttons.


Daniel is still trying to be independent in his living skills and is very proud of all the things he can do unaided.  Where would we have been without Tailor Ed!” – Daniel’s Mum

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