Many years ago we started behavior modification with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and I had talked about why we were doing this.

It was to help her remember important things that we wanted her to remember to do each day. The list could include things like:

Did you put your dishes in the sink?

Did you remember to hang up your towel in the bathroom?

Did you tell mom about your day in sentences?

And sometimes they included:

Did you use your emotion’s chart to talk and not yell?

Did you act appropriately in school?

So you kind of get the idea. It was a way to reinforce good thinking and behavior and shape away the behaviors that were not desired. We used to talk each night and made a chart with the list of the above questions on it.

But we added something else to the conversation. For every positive thing Elizabeth did she would be given a bead. At the end of the daily chat, she would string the beads on a piece of plastic string ( more substantial to hold). This would work her fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and focus. The reward of the efforts was a nice long necklace.

We would then count them each night. So we would work on counting. Sometimes by 2’s then 5’s then 10’s

And when she got to an agreed upon number, she would pick a reward coupon.

These coupons were made by the two of us and included things like:

-Extra TV

-Extra dessert

– A trip to the video store.

Pretty much anything that is valued at the time.

We did this behavioral modification routine for a long, long time. She loved it and it helped her hand work, talking and behavior. It was a big success for her.

So with that story and its goals in mind, I came across this great little toy that could help with the same kind of system. At least in my opinion, because the second I saw it, I could picture Elizabeth working with it each night. And using it to reach our goals.

It is called  

Wacky Links.

The sensory toy/tool is a pack of soft, bendable straw like tubes that form into shapes or even jewelry (endless creativity) using small pieces called connectors. 

The thing I saw right away was how great the Wacky Links would have been for Elizabeth (who has Dyspraxia and SPD) as a therapy tool to help her hand strength and mobility in her fingers. 

 

I could see how the connectors could be used as we used the beads. And then the circles could be made into a chain. And the reward could come after the chain got as many links on it that you decide.

The thing I like about the Wacky Links is they are a bit grippy on the outside so holding them is a bit easier than regular straws.

The connectors are unique because they come in different “themes”

-outer space theme

princess

-safari theme

-And the original theme

Each of the kits comes with 15 straws and 20 connectors.

But you can cut the straws into different lengths if you need, so the circles could be whatever size you wanted.

I think the Wacky Links are intriguing right at first glance!  The colors are bright and inviting, and the different themes like outer space (which glows in the dark!) allow for endless imaginative play. 

So even if you never use them for the way that I discussed,  I am sure you will find the Wacky Links as a simple, creative addition to your therapy tools or sensory bin.

So please take a look at them and perhaps decide which “theme” would best fit your child’s likes. Also, teachers love the Wacky Links as an alternative to the dreaded fidget spinner! 

If you ever want to comment or ask questions about anything we have done for Elizabeth, I would love to hear from you.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

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