As parents, teachers, and therapists, we all encourage the children we work with to practice good hand hygiene by washing their hands for 20 seconds. This is especially important with Covid-19 and flu season. Individuals with disabilities often have more difficulty completing multi-step tasks, and they often are unaware of how long 20 seconds is! But, the more we provide direct prompting, the more dependent they become on us. (This is called prompt dependence.) Using an inexpensive talking button, such as the Talk About! Communicator, you can decrease prompt dependence and increase independence. You can easily do this by either recording 20 seconds of silence followed by a cue to be finished such as "good job!" or "you're done!", or you can record a song for 20 seconds. If you need to prompt the person to use soap, record that at the beginning of the message, then add your 20 seconds of silence, singing, etc. When it's time to wash hands, they can simply push the communication button, lather up, and scrub until the communication device says they are done!
Feb 17, 2021