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Handwriting help(33 Posts)
Does anyone have any experience of handwriting help (I'm thinking a course maybe?) that can be done at home?
We've tried the kind of work books that you can get at WHSmiths but that's more like pulling teeth. I should add he's 8 and just getting to grips with reading.
Perhaps not in the way you mean, but it still might be worth you looking into
My DD had an OT appointment which was pretty amazing - she has no LD but her handwriting has always been behind her ability, turned out be its always been uncomfortable, even painful for her, but she's never spoken out as she thought that was normal for everyone.
The therapist tested her writing speed & quality with & without using a special wedged seat cushion along with a writing slope - this corrects her posture, which in turn helps her hold her pen correctly, she was also tested with different types of grips & moulded grip pens as she was griping her pen in a weird way to compensate for her over flexible finger joints, in her case the Stabilo moulded pen suited her best
The difference these 3 items together have made to her writing ability has been amazing, she loves writing now & has improved massively in both speed & neatness & no longer tries to avoid it as it doesn't hurt now.
I've just sent my two on a crash course for handwriting. Every day over half term for an hour. Ds1 is 8 with cerebral palsy so I knew what his difficulties were and DS2 is 6 and nT.
It was with an OT, the two of them together although they have up to 4 in a class. It was really good as a jump start, they did lots of gross motor stuff, finger strengenong stuff as well as sit down handwriting. At the end I got a brief report with ideas for exercises to continue with as well as copies of all the homework they did between each session (only 1 sheet a day but it all helps).
I've seen a noticeable improvement in a week and I'm hoping to build on this at home practising what thu've been shown.
This set of books has been recommended to me previously and I may well it to follow up with Ds2.
Those 2 links have been very helpful to us.
2 of my DDs have difficulties with handwriting. One has just been diagnosed with discalcula, the other is under investigation.
I think you've given.me those links before, Star, but this time I'm printing them off.
I'm torn between spending a set amount of time each eve practicing, and feeling like they should be given a break to play after school. I'm hoping to create a system that strikes a balance sometime soon!
Thank you all so much. I will read everything and think about it.
Does anyone know if you can self refer to OT?
I've been told you can, but not really certain, we had a rheumatology referral for DD because if her EDS - waiting list was ridiculous even with that, but well worth the wait, but might be worth you trying some of the gadgets anyway -
sorry cant link on here, but the cushion is rubber with nobbles all over it & is a wedge shape, comes in pink & blue - i got it on amazon via the physio room & it was £12 so not expensive - I use one too now & not seen an OT but find it helps a lot with any sitting tasks such as sewing, drawingvetc etc
& you can use a lever arch file as a writing slope, pens & rubber shaped grips available in WH Smith or amazon etc too
School will probably already have these & a proper Perspex writing slope, so might be worth having a chat with the SENCO & ask to try them out on your DS whilst awaiting an OT appointment
zzzzz you should be able to self refer but the school can request an OT come in and assess
Ds2 so not my language disordered twin. . I will wait and see what school says.
Ds1s issues with writing are to do with hypermobility. He has fluidity but no stamina and grip is difficult. He also was turned off writing at school.
Ds2 has found learning to read hard. Much harder than it should be given how bright he is. He is slowly winning on the reading but his handwriting is still an issue and it is stopping him getting much down on paper.
I've read about dyspraxia but it doesn't fit (he was an amazingly physically precocious toddler, walking confidently at 9months), he isn't hypermobile as far as I can see, though he is very active/fidgety/flippertygibbet and exhausting.
If one is hypermobile, you might want to look into POTs & autonomic nervous system disorders - sorry I forget the actual medical name, but both are linked to EDS/Joint Hypermobility, symptoms of, so there's info on those types of sites - hereditary as I'm sure you already know
JHMS/EDS is also DDs problem & she suffers quite a bit with this, I was beginning to think its migraine, as its affected by the weather as is my own migraine - makes it really hard for her to concentrate at times as she can be hypersensitive to noise, light etc, when she's like this she finds reading, writing really hard too, especially sensitive to class disruption - realising now this is all linked to POTs & the autonomic nervous system problems linked to Hypermobility/ EDS & waiting on an appointment for proper evaluation - if you are on Facebook there is a good Hypermobility South East chat group, several on there with kids suffering with this, some badly so, so could be a good source of advice & info for you
Ironically DD sounds very like your DS2 also walked at 9 months, running upstairs a few days later, though never crawled, which now makes sense with hypermobile joints - we used to call her tigga as she bounced around so much - still can do at times & certainly still was still very much that way at 8
I think my first step would be asking the Senco to do a basic dyslexia screening, it's worth exploring as it is easy and quick and requires no referrals. The school will have a school nurse and you can speak to her/him and ask for OT referral. It can be quicker and easier than GP route. I would try a Move'n'Sit just because it might help him feel more comfortable sitting still if his natural urge is to move. Sitting on a gym ball at a lower table could work too.
Does he draw? Is he motivated to write? Is he a perfectionist (this really slowed ds down, finding decent erasable pens helped). Ds often writes using a clipboard instead of at the table to enable position changing.
Zzzzz - that sounds exactly like my DS2, he has found reading and writing much harder than he 'should'. I was wondering if I was just kidding myself about this but I am quite attuned to these things now so decided to trust my judgement! I really sentry my two to this curse for DS2's benefit although it was only ever going to helpDS1 as well.
What it did show up, and I didn't mention earlier, is that DS2 has some ocular motor issues, he seems to struggle with convergence and tracking. As soon as they mentioned this a lightbulb went off in my head! It makes so much sense, why as a very fit, active child he hates all forms of ball games. He has a 6 pack (he's 6.4years old) and is very strong. He's always on the go, very fidgety at school, they've given him a fiddle toy which hasn't really helped tbh! He doesn't seem to fit the dyslexia model bout this makes a lot of sense. The OT's (a private practice near us) have given me the name of a behavoural optometrist. I am going to look into it but am loath to spend £££££ as his difficulties are not 'major' and am wondering if there area some home exercise I can do with him.
Hairy, your description of your DS fits mine to a tee! Identical age, with a six pack and problems starting to appear at school with his reading, writing and spelling.
He has various assessments booked/underway but he has an appointment at the behavoural optometrist my DD uses next week. DD has gained more than two years in her reading age since starting the visual therapy in January and can now catch a ball when playing Netball at school which has helped her self confidence enormously. Of all the therapies we have tried with DD (and there are many....) this has made the most difference by far. Yes its expensive and the exercise program can be a pain but its well worth it.
Just a thought.
And I would second Write from the Start and also any exercises and games you can do to build fine motor control.
My children were struggling hugely with their handwriting. And to be honest it was impacting everything else they tried to do related to it - e.g. spelling etc. I've brought them to a wonderful Speech and Language therapist who has now specialised in handwriting. Her name is Lee Dein. The results have been incredible and she "turns pupils around" in quite a short period of time (c10 weeks). I was "sold" when I came across the "before" and "after" handwriting samples on her website and I'm happy to say that my children are looking more like the "after" samples, within just 3 lessons . She teachers from 5 years upwards as I understand it, so might be worth considering for your son.[http://www.leedein.com/handwriting.html].
I would also recommend a dyslexia screening, Dd3 managed to get to 11 before anyone realised she is dyslexic
To be fair she does have a multitude of other issues going on and I think I let her hypermobility and left handedness muddy the waters.
We were also recommended a writing slope and a soft grip non smudge pen. I bought the pen but school havent bothered with the writing slope!
Hi zzzz have you ever looked into retained primitive reflexes?
My DS also struggles to sit still, handwriting was illegible until a few months ago and not at risk in dyslexia screen.
I bought him some of the stabilo pens that curve around the hand and they made such a difference.
Isn't it funny the things you come across. I have just booked Lee Dein to see my DS (who has a likely AS Dx) and DD2 today. Delighted you had good success with her LondonIrishMum!
(I am also a london Irish mum!). Also going to see a behavioural optometrist - Henry Kahan in NW11- as DD2 has been covering one eye with her hand whilst trying to learn to read. Her sight test came up normal but something odd going on there and she seems to be struggling with it more than my elder two.
I just wanted to add a recommendation here for Lee Dein. My son is half way through Lee's 'Magoc Link' programme and in only two and a half weeks (two sessions a week) he has made enormous leaps. He is in Y3 and for some reason his handwriting was slowly reversing to resemble that of a reception child. I was referred by a friend to Lee, to see if her Magic Link programme could work for him and even on the first day he emerged as a 'writer' having perfected the correct grip and had already started to form letters where many many previous afternoons of impatient demands from me had failed to deliver and only served for me (and him) to increase in our frustration. Lee has a way with the children that makes them produce for her and has developed her own method which she has used on hundreds of children, a method which has, in her own words, "a one hundred percent success rate". She works from home in Hampstead Garden Suburb and the children work in small groups after school and at the weekend.
I attach a copy of my son's piece of independent writing during the inital assessment with Lee and a sample of his handwriting as it is starting to develop now after this short period of time. We are only half way there so I expect even better things by the end.
So impressed with Lee's technique and would recommend her to any parent looking to help their child improve their handwriting (and to avoid arguments!)
I should also mention that my son is left-handed and it has still worked as well with him as any other child.
One last thing - Lee is currently developing a fantastic online workshop(for youtube I think) which works step by step through her programme. Not sure how much it will cost to access but if you don't live in London or near enough to get to her within an hour,say, then I think this might be the answer.
Drop Lee a line - you will be pleased that you did!
My daughter aged 8 years is currently visiting the lovely welcoming Lee Dein , in her home classroom.
From our initial meeting Lee developed a relationship with my daughter that meant A. was happy to follow the Magic Link Handwriting course with enthusiasm, that alone was unique for a child who hated Literacy lessons.
My daughter is follow the course and is making remarkable progress,she is writing more fluently,quicker and starting to improve on punctuation,after only 4 visits.
We continue to attend and I will post ongoing progress. Highly recommended
We also go to Lee .dein. Just finished the programme. We are going back next week to consolidate what my son is missing. Much happier child. He can now complete (read, understand and write) in less than 30mns. Before, he would refuse to do the work because he was unable to complete it.
MagicLink has now changed my son into a MagicBoy !!!!
My son did a 'speed up' course at school, not sure who taught it to the school but it is an 8 week course, I know that it was recommended by an OT.
Ds is 13 and his handwriting is still poor, but its better than it was.
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