The Digit Wheel is a felt ring with a plastic bead captivated on a cord laced through stretchy fabric tunnels. The user stabilises the ring in the palm of either hand then moves the bead along the cord and through the small square tunnels, coordinating thumb and finger movement to the end. Start and finish at the yellow stitched line. The digit wheel is soft and quiet and can be easily folded and put in a pocket. Hand washing and air drying is recommended.
- Helps improve buttoning skills
- Improves finger manipulation
- Can promote lead assist hand patterns
- Develops fine finger strengthening
- Can increase bilateral manipulation
- Provides sensory feedback due to raised motif on button
Buttoning shirts requires the wearer to button their shirts without looking. We would recommend that once the fingers are strong enough to manipulate the button around the wheel with vision that the user try and move it around the wheel without looking.
If you are looking to improve strength and coordination for buttoning then we would also recommend buying some therapy putty. Push buttons into the therapy putty and have the child pull the buttons out of it. You can then ask them to push the buttons into it for you to pull out. The two ways of working strengthens the push and pull grip pinch of buttoning. You can also pinch out a hedgehog shape in the putty and add sunflower seeds to the back of the putty hedgehog as the spines of the hedgehog. The seeds are very hard to hold and manipulate, much like a button. Many children struggle with buttoning because they have poor proprioception/feel in their fingers and joints. I would take a little sandpaper and rub it against the surface of the buttons they are trying to do up which makes the surface of the button rough and more tactile to the touch, less slippy too which helps whilst they master buttoning.
WARNING: The digit wheel and buttons in therapy putty require adult supervision at all times as there is a risk of choking on buttons. For ages 5 and over. This is not a toy.