From Flapping to Function:

A Parent's Guide to Autism and Hand Skills

Book Reviews

©2016 Barbara Smith


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  from flapping to function
Praise for:
From Flapping to function: A Parent's Guide to Autism  and Hand Skills

Strategies in this book will help children with autism perform everyday functional activities such as brushing teeth or closing buttons. Written for parents of children on the spectrum, Barbara explains how sensory challenges, visual issues, postural symptoms, behavioral and/or social skills impact hand skills. From Flapping to Function fills an important niche, with a focus on how to make fine-motor activities successful and fun. I highly recommend that you add it to your toolbox
—Dr Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D. OTR Founder, STAR Institute
for Sensory Processing Disorder Associate Professor, Dept.
of Pediatrics, UC Denver

author of: Sensational Kids
co-author with Doreit Bialer of
No Longer A SECRET: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges
• • •

From Flapping to Function is an essential publication for the 21st century child with the diagnosis of Autism. It provides the reader with detailed information based on the theory, but also provides practical and functional applications to help these children access their maximum potential in a variety of developmental areas. This book is a must not only for parents, but for caregivers, therapists, educators and others who work with children.

• • •
I wish I’d had From Flapping to Function at my disposal when my own son was growing-up! Barbara A. Smith, OTR/L has created a well-researched and valuable collection of practical, fun, everyday, everywhere techniques and activities to help our children reach their potential and ultimately live
happy lives. You will not only find original activities to build hand skills (fine motor skills), but also learn how to look at your own environment and create activities that fit your lifestyle and individual needs.

From Flapping to Function was developed from Barbara’s 30+ years of hands-on experience working with the challenges of autism and sensory processing disorder (SPD). Writing these experiences, activities, and wisdom down in a book is one of the most valuable assets a parent or professional can ask for. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your professional knowledge and wisdom to address the multiple challenges of this very special population of individuals.
—Lois Jean Brady, MA, CCC-SLP,
Author of Apps for Autism and Speech in Action
• • •

This very clever book offers strategies and options, utilizing common household items, along with clear examples and photos of each.
—Marla Roth-Fisch, Award-winning author/illustrator of
Sensitive Sam and Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist
• • •

Barbara Smith has written a practical, easy to read, how-to guide
From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills. The book provides an excellent overview and a logical progression of functional hand use. The point –form chapter summaries, DIY activities and clear illustrations are home and school friendly. Smith ( AKA the Recycling OT) is a creative and original thinker and I thank her for writing this book with wide audience appeal. I am getting out my scissors now!!!
— Shirley Sutton, Canadian Occupational Therapist, and co-author of Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration
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Barbara has once again brought her professional knowledge and experience together to create a one-stop resource for parents. Just as her landmark book, From Rattles to Writing, proved to be a valuable guide to the development of hand skills, Barbara has organized From Flapping to Function to serve as an excellent companion tool for understanding sensory processing disorders and their impact on hand skill development. She includes important information about the link between functional vision, visual perception, and hand skills, as well as strategies for promoting handwriting. She provides teaching strategies that offer adaptations to assist with sensory modulation and continues her tradition for designing do-it-yourself activities that can be created from everyday household materials. I recommend this new resource has a place on your bookshelf!
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  Book Reviews



Foreword by Dr. Anne H. Zachry:

Parents of children with autism face a variety of challenges on a daily basis. Barbara Smith knows these challenges firsthand, and her personal experience and professional expertise resonate throughout this book.
Barbara is the mother of a son with autism, and she is also an occupational therapist with more than 30 years of clinical experience, specializing in developmental disabilities. Barbara lectures and presents workshops
for parents and professionals all over the United States. She has written numerous articles on occupational therapy and various child development topics. She is also the author of two online continuing education courses on the subjects of autism and adults with developmental disabilities. Her book From Rattles to Writing: A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills won the National Association of Parenting Publications Award in 2011. In addition to Barbara’s contributions as an occupational therapist and author, she is a certified sensory integration and hippotherapy provider.

I am truly thankful that Barbara is sharing her knowledge and wisdom once again. From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and
Hand Skills is a valuable resource that includes ideas, techniques, and suggestions that parents can use to guide and support the development of children with autism. As Barbara explains in this book, many children with autism do not use their hands in a functional manner. Flapping the hands and lining up small items often replace natural fine motor experiences that are important for the development of hand skills. Not only does this valuable resource offer practical strategies to encourage children with autism to use their hands for functional tasks, it provides information and techniques to promote improved sensory processing, the development of visual skills, and much more.
Here is what you will learn from reading this book.

  •  How do I reinforce positive behavior?
  •  What is a strategy that I can use to get my child to make eye contact with others?
  •  How do I get my child to cross midline or use both hands together?
  •  What is a visual schedule?
  •  How do sensory processing challenges impact development?
  •  What are some effective strategies to promote writing skills?
  •  How can computer apps be used as teaching tools?

This amazing book is full of resources and practical solutions that you as a parent can implement to best support your child with autism. "From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills” is a must-have!