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DS2 (8) won't use opposable thumbs?

(5 Posts)
whippet Mon 04-Jul-11 09:39:58

I can't decide if I should be worried about this or not, e.g. if it indicative of some other issue?

Basically DS hates picking things up and using his thumb to hold them. We noticed as a toddler that he held food a bit weird - he will 'cup' an apple or a slice of something, rather than hold it between finger and thumb?

It does sometimes cause problems - he balances plates flat on his hands to carry them (and often spills stuff) and he used to try to try to hold a cup or glass with just his fingers curved and the palm of his hand, until we got really angry about all the spillage and insisted he either use a cup with a handle or wrap his thumb round (but even if he does this, he will not put the tip of his thumb on it.

It also affects his writing. He does not use a 'pincer grip', but brings his thumb up above the top of his index finger. We've tried grips, special pens etc, but to no avail...

He says he doesn't know why he does it - his thumb doesn't hurt or anything. However I know he's a bit funny about getting his hands 'dirty' (e.g. from a plate) so maybe that's something to do with it?

I have to confess I find it irritating and annoying, and I think it makes him look silly when he's eating (and it obviously causes a mess sometimes).

Just a foible? Something more worrying? Anything I can/should do?

IndigoBell Mon 04-Jul-11 10:26:23

Does he have any other fine or gross motor skill problems?

whippet Mon 04-Jul-11 10:47:39

Not really - not anything that would be 'off the scale' IYSWIM.
He's very good at building Lego, so clearly is able to pick up/manipulate small bricks etc.

I'm just more worried he's goign to get teased about it as he gets older. He gets very messy when he eats e.g. imagine trying to eat pizza or toast without using your thumbs!

belindarose Mon 04-Jul-11 10:56:53

I would try to get a referral through school or GP to an occupational therapist. Sounds like it could cause him some difficulties. If I were his teacher I would be definitely concerned about his pencil grip.

whippet Mon 04-Jul-11 11:03:45

I've spoken to school at length about his pencil grip since he was in Year 2. Their view is that his hand writing is 'neat enough' hmm and that it is very hard/ too late to change at this stage.

I'm not sure whether it's a habit we should be trying to change, and constantly pointing out/re-inforcing, or just let it go?

It's hard for a child if you're 'always on their case' - perhaps he will grow out of it?

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