Handwriting help/advice please!

(20 Posts)
MotherofPirates Tue 20-Sep-16 13:32:44

DS, 8, in Y4 has truly terrible handwriting. I know this is not uncommon in boys and other parents have been 'Oh yes mine too" about it. His teacher last year wasn't overly worried ("It'll come" type thing).

However, I was in school for an open day thing and couldn't help but notice that everyone else's writing (looking at the work on the wall, which included my son's) was way better (clearer, neater, easy to read) so he clearly not at the normal standard for his age (for want of a better way of putting it!) I spoke briefly to his teacher who said he rushes (he does, it's true) and she can't really tell whether or not he is forming his letters correctly until he slows down.

His violin teacher noted that his finger joints are hypermobile. He also has a tendency to use his left hand/left foot for stuff but writes with his right hand.

He is impatient and I guess I'm wondering if there is any kind of help/practical programme that we can use that doesn't involve hours of tracing. Or any advice at all really (including any ways of getting him to slow down!) It does bother him a fair bit so I'm not making a thing of it but realise it must be a struggle for others to read (he often can't read it himself!) which means they are missing out on his (generally good) content.

forkhandles4candles Tue 20-Sep-16 13:41:06

There is Lee Dein's Magic Link handwriting course. You can look it up. Worked OK for us. But it is London based.

MotherofPirates Tue 20-Sep-16 13:46:17

I have had a look at that forkhandles we are in deepest darkest south London so not impossible but difficult to get to. How long did it take to make a difference? Is it engaging or still a hard slog. Thanks!

WhiteDraig Tue 20-Sep-16 13:48:43

Speed up and Write-start-Programme are good books.

Activities that strength hand muscles also good - we also tried pens, grips and slopes of which there are loads out there.

user1472662726 Tue 20-Sep-16 13:49:10

Hi, if his hands are hypermobile a pen grip can help, or a fatter pen as easier to hold onto.

MotherofPirates Tue 20-Sep-16 13:54:30

He's not allowed to use a pen at school until his handwriting improves! Thanks for the book tips White

Paffle Tue 20-Sep-16 13:55:51

Try this lady. We're in south London too and it's not brilliantly accessible but do-able. She's running a course in the Christmas holidays.

http://www.swa-children-s-physiotherapy-and-handwriting-services-london.org/therapy/courses/

Practise, practise, practise. Physio for core strength.

Google national handwriting association.

RaisingSteam Tue 20-Sep-16 13:57:45

Can you find out which teacher (if any) is the handwriting specialist and work on some strategies both of special pens and more practice. If it hasn't improved by start of Y6 ask school to refer to occupational therapist, they do a handwriting standardised test that will identify if child has an actual problem or is just not trying IYSWIM.

DS is in Yr 8 now and we are pursuing diagnosis of dysgraphia. He just about got through primary and SATS by going slowly, but it deserted him at secondary. He really cannot write fluently at all and to be legible he has to print slowly, which of course is demotivating and makes it hard to get his ideas written down. At secondary (and in SATS) if it ain't written down it didn't happen.

RaisingSteam Tue 20-Sep-16 14:01:17

And as for not allowed to use a pen - he clearly has a difficulty and should write with whatever supports that. I would push school right back on that.

DS and I had a good hour trying all the pens in the house to see which ones were most comfortable for him. A soft fine liner which makes a legible line without too much pressure came out best for us. Stabilo Easy Ergo might be worth a try.

MotherofPirates Tue 20-Sep-16 14:08:37

Thanks all, much appreciated! Paffle do you have experience of the Kensington physio?

WhiteDraig Tue 20-Sep-16 14:53:28

There are various types of grips and chunky pencils out there.

I found when I spoke to the teachers they were fine with my children using such pencils or grips - one even let one of my children use a slope - as long as we provided the equipment.

Though my eldest has found her writing has improved when she was allowed to use pens - she has very smooth action ones at minute and writing has never been easier or neater for her - but she had to wait and get pen licence.

Paffle Tue 20-Sep-16 15:41:54

pirates I do. PM me for details.

Starlight234 Tue 20-Sep-16 16:57:15

My Ds is hypermobile , left handed and struggles.

He was diagnosed with Dysgraphia last year. It is not commonly known. So don't assume teachers know about it. There is more to it than just messy writing but when I read it it described my DS to a tee.

NoMoreGrimble Wed 21-Sep-16 14:10:24

My Y4 DS is currently going through Lee Dein's course. We are 6 lessons in and the difference is amazing. My DS's his teachers weren't too worried until the end of Y3 when they said they couldn't spend any more time with him and maybe I should consider external help!
I am hoping that another couple of more lessons and we are "discharged".
I haven't seen much of his school work yet to see if the improvements have made it to school (he's only had one piece of homework since going back) but his spellings are now legible!
Can't recommend her enough.

Badbadbunny Wed 21-Sep-16 19:27:34

Don't have a solution, but I would say you DO need to do something about it. My son was the same, completely illegible, I kept asking the primary teachers, year after year, and they all said the same, "don't worry", "it's not that bad, you should see some of the others" etc, so nothing was done. Same in early years at secondary school - teachers just weren't interested and said not to worry, it'll come right in the year. Son has just started in year 10 and we've already had 3 teachers bring it up and say that his writing is nowhere near good enough for the GCSEs and putting pressure on him to improve but not offering any help or suggestions. That's really helpful - year after teachers, when we've brought it up, the teachers have ignored it, but now it's getting crunch time, they're making a big thing of it!!!

GherkinsOnToast Wed 21-Sep-16 21:22:26

If he has hyper mobile fingers then one of these might help. DD found the fatter pencil easier to hold and it made her hands ache less. If it is more comfortable to write he may well slow down.

Dannygirl Wed 21-Sep-16 21:33:50

OP does your son have any other difficulties with motor skills or sensory issues? If so it may be worth looking up Dyspraxia. My DS aged 9 has the difficulties you describe including the hyper mobility and not having a strong dominant hand...just a thought! Good luck. Feel free to ask if you want more info

MotherofPirates Thu 22-Sep-16 09:50:18

Thanks Gherkins I'm going to give those a try as I think the pen grip might be a big part of the issue. Sorry to hear your experience Bunny , his teacher this year does seem bothered but doesn't seem to have any strategies/help.

Dannygirl he definitely has some fine motor issues but I had mentally (without much knowledge) ruled out dyspraxia as he is pretty good at sport and okay at violin, don't know is this is a fair assumption or not?

NoMore would you mind if I PMd you re Lee Dein?

Thanks again everyone.

NoMoreGrimble Thu 22-Sep-16 10:32:09

MotherofPirates No of course not. Feel free to PM me.

Dannygirl Thu 22-Sep-16 21:58:42

OP it may not be dyspraxia of course but it presents in lots of different ways. Might be worth checking out Dyspraxia foundation website which is a great resource to see if you recognise the descriptions - good luck xx

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