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Perceptual Problems

11) Practical advice for dyspraxia – dressing


Tips for dressing

  • Avoid distractions so the person can concentrate on getting dressed.
  • Try verbal and physical prompts or reminders to guide the person to the next step in the sequence. For example guide their hand across the body to the affected side when dressing.
  • Try a simple picture guide or list to help the person follow the correct order or sequence.
  • Put clothes on to a flat surface such as a bed or chair in the order they should be put on. Make sure they are not inside out. Avoid too many fastenings.
  • Sometimes washing and dressing in front of a mirror can help the person check when they have removed all the soap or put on clothes correctly. The mirror has to be large enough to see the upper body when sitting. (This may not work for all people with dyspraxia.)
  • It may help to assist the person by holding the affected arm while they attempt to dress. Bring the arm forward where they can see it. Support the whole of the affected arm but do not pull on the arm as the shoulder may be painful.
  • If the person has difficulty finding right and left on their clothes, try sewing a small red tag on the inside of the right sleeve. Remind them red is for right. The same can be done inside the right shoe using a red marker.
  • Try to simplify the task. For example put items away in drawer so they are easier to find such as underwear in separate drawers or compartments. Lables or pictures on drawers to show contents.
  • Try to let the person do as much as they can for themselves. It may be easier and save time for you to do the task but the person will become less independent unless they try to do tasks on their own.

You can print this page as a reminder of the tips.


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