first form of help is physical help. Physical help involves
using your hands to guide your child in doing something. You
gently guide or control your child's movements, so your child
isn't required to control his or her own response. There are
two kinds of physical help, Full Physical
Help and Partial Physical Help.
To use full physical help, you guide or control
your child's movements. When providing full physical help
for gross motor skills, such as walking or standing, you support
your child's body. For fine motor skills, such as coloring
or cutting, you give hand-over-hand guidance to your child.
do most of the work so that your child can focus on learning
the patterns of behavior necessary to do the skill.
of Full Physical Help
Partial Physical Help means giving your child
more responsibility for completing a task, but still providing
some "hands-on" assistance. For example, to use partial physical
help for gross motor skills, you might partially support your
child's body. Or, for fine motor skills, you might partially
guide your child's movements by holding her arms or wrists
and lightly pulling or pushing. Or you might simply touch
or tap your child's wrists, elbows, or shoulders. With
Partial Physical Help,
your child has more responsibility for completing
the task and does more of the work than if full physical help
of Partial Physical Help
Shadowing As a Way
to Decrease Physical Help.
Sometimes, after giving physical help for a
period of time, an adult might use shadowing.
Shadowing is going through the motions with the child as she
does the task, but without touching her. Over time, the adult
goes through fewer and fewer motions and gradually moves further
away until the child does the task when the adult is not there.
For example, Manuel's mother has taught him to make up his
bed before he leaves the bedroom and comes to breakfast. She
did this by physically guiding him in pulling up the covers,
folding the spread back, putting the pillow on the spread,
and covering the pillow. She decreases the help from full
to partial physical help. Then she goes through the motions
as he does. Then she stands several feet away from the bed.
She moves further and further away, until Manuel makes up
his bed by himself. She continues to check on whether he has
made the bed and praises him from time to time for doing so.
Time to Stop and Think
Can you describe full and partial physical help
as they were used in the examples?
Can you define physical help and explain how
full and partial physical help are different?
Can you think of some ways you use or could
use physical help in with your child?