22 Strategies to Help Students 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 learner.

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

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

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

5. Give the learner 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 learner for slowly improving their capacity and ability to fasten pieces of clothing over time rather than expecting total mastery immediately.

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

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

10. Teach the learner 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 learner’s hands through the learning experience of zipping, buttoning, and snapping their own clothing.

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

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

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

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

16. Do not embarrass the learner 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 learner’s progress. The parents may reinforce the learner at home for fastening pieces of clothing at school.

19. Draft an agreement with the learner 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 learner to explain (a) what the learner is doing wrong (e.g., failing to fasten clothing) and (b) what the learner should be doing (e.g., fastening clothing, etc.).

22. Praise the learner for caring for personal appearance: (a) give the learner 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 learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

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