20 Strategies to Help Learners Who Cannot Fasten Their Own Clothes

Are you looking for strategies to help students who cannot fasten their own clothes? If so, keep reading.

1. Select a peer to model fastening pieces of clothing properly for the student.

2. Get the student to question any directions, explanations, or instructions they do not understand.

3. Give the student instruction on fastening articles of clothing.

4. Give the student time to practice fastening their articles of clothing. (The clothing needs to be on the student during practice.)

5. Give the student sufficient time to fasten articles of clothing.

6. Give visual reminders to fasten articles of clothing in appropriate places (e.g., image of zipping, buttoning, snapping, etc.).

7. Praise the student for slowly improving their capacity and ability to fasten pieces of clothing over time rather than expecting total mastery immediately.

8. Give the student a checklist of pieces of clothing to fasten that they finish daily.

9. Put a full-length mirror in the classroom for the student to make sure that all of their pieces of clothing are fastened.

10. Teach the student how to fasten pieces of clothing when buttons are missing, zippers are broken, etc. (e.g., sewing a button back in space, using a safety pin, etc.).

11. Guide the student’s hands through the learning experience of zipping, buttoning, and snapping their own clothing.

12. Get the student to practice fastening pieces of clothing with oversized zippers, buttons, and snaps. As the student shows success, slowly lessen the size of the fasteners.

13. Give the student oral reminders to fasten their articles of clothing.

14. Praise the student at regular intervals throughout the day for having pieces of clothing fastened.

15. Secure pieces of clothing for the student if they are incapable of fastening.

16. Do not embarrass the student by asking them to fasten pieces of clothing in front of peers.

17. Assess the appropriateness of the task to determine (a) if the task is too easy, (b) if the task is too complicated, and (c) if the duration of time scheduled to finish the task is sufficient.

18. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for fastening pieces of clothing at school.

19. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., fastening clothing) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

20. Praise those students in the classroom who fasten their articles of clothing.

21. Converse with the student to explain (a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., failing to fasten clothing) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., fastening clothing, etc.).

22. Praise the student for caring for personal appearance: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

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