Tweaking Equipment

Pediatric therapists frequently modify or adapt equipment for children.  Whether it be a writing utensil or sports equipment, sometimes children don’t need a specialized tool to participate in the activity but just small adjustment to the typical equipment.  Here is a simple example – perhaps a child would write more legibly with a shorter pencil versus a pencil with a grip on it.  Maybe a student could hit the ball further in gym class using a lighter bat.  When you are considering changes to equipment start with the most simple ideas and make little changes if possible. 

In general, you can ask yourself would the child be able to participate more independently or successfully if the equipment was:

  • larger?
  • smaller?
  • brighter?
  • softer?
  • harder?
  • different color or contrast?
  • shorter?
  • taller?
  • closer?
  • farther away?

Sometimes, we are quick to jump to an off the shelf product or a larger modification when all the equipment may need is a little tweak.  What would you add to the list of simple changes?