5 year struggling to write

(10 Posts)
Neome Sat 06-Apr-19 07:05:23

My 5 year old is doing ok with reading although with possible ASC finds it hard to focus sometimes, once focussed reads well and can use phonics to decode well.

Unfortunately he can barely write at all. His teacher said he has core strength problems - they are doing things to help - and this is a factor. I think he knows what he wants to write (or draw) but can't control the pencil and finds it very dispiriting.

I want to give him support that makes his school experience less stressful (school is very kind and he is on SEN list) but obviously don't want to create a battleground at home.

Any suggestions, advice or experience would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
DerbyRacer Sat 06-Apr-19 07:26:01

Has your dc been assessed by an occupational therapist? It sounds like the school are doing alot to help which is the best thing for your dc. I don't know what helps core strength. My ds has a fine motor difficulty. The school did fine motor exercises with him every morning and we did things at home. The occupation therapist gave us exercises and she went into the school to advise them how to help ds. At home my ds often likes using a slanted writing board and a special pencil.

By the time ds was 8 the school had moved him onto a laptop for extended pieces of writing. I was told by an educational psychologist that this would be the way forward for ds. But now he is 10 he is preferring to write and doing quite well with his writing.

Norestformrz Sat 06-Apr-19 07:31:30

Core strength
Things like monkey bars, wheelbarrow walking, wall pushups, scooter boards, plank, space hoppers

DerbyRacer Sat 06-Apr-19 07:35:25

Sorry, I didnt really give you any advice in my post. My ds has autism. He has ways been happy at school but the difficulty with writing has held him back. He was diagnosed with autism and a motor difficulty at 4 years old. Then diagnosed with dysgraphia at 8 years old which really helped explain his writing difficulty.

The advice from the o/t and educational psychologist is what really helped me to help my ds. I got him assessed privately when be was 8 by an educational psychologist. The o/t was NHS age 4 and she was great, really helped me understand ds' difficulty with writing, fine motor things and sensory.

Neome Sat 06-Apr-19 07:37:11

That's really helpful Derby. We're waiting for an OT appointment...

I feel sure that he will ultimately be able to write although it's not coming naturally as it does for most people. I can imagine a path like your 10 yo (fingers crossed).

OP’s posts: |
Neome Sat 06-Apr-19 07:41:05

Thank you both, DS is on the waiting list (9 months +) for Autism assessment. I am considering looking for private advice ie OT so I can start doing better informed support .

OP’s posts: |
DerbyRacer Sat 06-Apr-19 07:42:27

That's good you will be getting an o/t appointment. I am amazed at how much my ds loves writing and drawing now. When he was 5 he could hardly write a thing and hated drawing. His writing problem now is more to do with his working memory but physically he can write quite alot without getting very tired

My ds has always liked doing the core strength exercises mentioned by previous poster. I think they have helped him alot. He is very good at monkey bars now.

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extrastrongmints Sat 06-Apr-19 07:49:30

We have been in this situation and got good input from an OT and physio (Our child was hypermobile but other conditions like dyspraxia can cause similar issues). The OT did a school visit and classroom observation and advised us and the school. The physio set up a daily exercise programme (which the child loathed, but it worked). The advice from the physio and paediatrician was to cram as much physical activity in as possible (3 hours per day). We did lots of swimming, gymnastics, trampolining, trips to soft-play and play-parks (especially those with climbing frames), walked to and from school and everywhere else. The OT also recommended rock climbing/ climbing walls to develop core strength though we didn't manage that one as there are none locally. Lots of lego etc. for fine motor skills. The paediatrician wrote school a note saying no homework for three months to allow more exercise. his handwriting improved hugely between 5 and 7. From age 7 onwards learning to touch-type (we used englishtype) also made a big difference.
The OT remarked that the UK introduces writing too early from a developmental perspective and for many kids it would be better to wait till 6.

Neome Sat 06-Apr-19 09:01:08

I'm so glad I asked, this is all so helpful and supportive! flowersflowersflowers

OP’s posts: |
HexagonalBattenburg Sat 06-Apr-19 10:55:37

DD2 is a similar kind of child - reads well (greater depth in her last report) and knows what she wants to say - but the gap between what she knows and can do and what she can record is becoming a rapidly widening gaping chasm.

She now has a dyspraxia diagnosis - OT helped a lot in terms of shoulder and arm and core strength exercises - lots and lots of building towers, and pegging things while kneeling on all fours with knees underneath hips, and hand and finger strength stuff - pegging again (both hands) and rotating clothes pegs around in one hand to get them the right way around, and those little spinning tops you get in party bag tat are really good for it too. Plus loads of climbing, monkey bars, anything physically active (we have a gym ball in the house and encourage DD2 to dive over it and take her weight onto her arms and shoulders) - Karate helped DD2 a tonne as did wall climbing (if you have a Clip n Climb near you they are bloody fantastic).

We've now started to hit a wall where she knows her writing is a struggle and not as good as the other kids (she's still meeting age related expectations though which is bloody amazing) - and she's starting to get upset, so we're gently introducing typing when we can do to just reduce the burden down slightly - she uses an iPad at home (with an external keyboard when required - I just bought a cheap bluetooth one for a tenner and sharpied the lower case letters on it) with Snaptype Pro to record work on worksheets where you can photograph it and type anywhere on the image, and Clicker Docs as a more primary oriented word processor package.

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