Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New video: Max's handwriting


Max has been writing his name for nearly a year now. Because he's been doing so well with the iPad and speech app, there hasn't seemed to be a strong focus at school on writing letters. At home, either, to be honest. But at his recent parent-teacher conference, we all agreed to get Max going on writing more.

Right now, we're working on the letter "L." For inspiration, I showed Max that Ernie and Bert La La La ode and he found it very amusing. Only now I can't get "la la la la...linoleum" out of my head.


The best writing instrument for Max is a pencil encased in foam tubing. His school OT recommends short, stubby pencils (unlike this one). I kept meaning to buy some until I stopped by IKEA on Sunday and there was an entire bin filled with little pencils for filling out shopping slips and it was like I was destined to go to IKEA and find them and I may or may not have grabbed a handful and shoved them into my purse. Hopefully, I will not have to flush them down the toilet if law officers show up at my house. Although I may or may not have grabbed them.

As you can see, Max refuses to fully wrap his fingers around the pencil—he likes to knuckle it. Not ideal, and I'm hoping we can break him out of that. But, wow, is he determined—and doing so well. And yes, he is seriously proud of himself, as he should be; this doesn't come easy for him. Rounded letters like "b" and "p" will be a lot more challenging, as they are for him in speech. But if I know anything, Max will figure out a way.

20 comments:

  1. OMG! That is just so great, Ellen.

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    1. Yes! And what's extra-great is Max knows it too!

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  2. One way to encourage him to get his fingers around the foam -- draw fingers on the foam in the places where his fingers should be. He has to try and place his fingers on the drawn fingers. You can prompt him -- "Max, are your fingers in the right place?" Make it more fun by coloring each finger a different color on the foam, and putting the same colored marker colors on his finger tips.

    If he gets used to writing holding the pencil with his knuckles, it will be hard to correct. He will also get tired easily holding it that way.

    Paula

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    1. Wow, Paula, what a great idea!

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  3. He is SO stinkin' cute!! And I love how he looks up each time to make sure you saw how great of a job he did! And he is so proud of himself!! Love it, Ellen!

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  4. The art supply company Dick Blick (www.dickblick.com) has a special needs section with a large variety of adaptive supplies (pencils, brushes, even wheelchair-accessible easels). Some products are clearly meant for kids, some more for disabled adults--and some for any kid, special needs or not, who is simply too young for fine motor control. They also have a "Tell us what your special needs are" link. No doubt you're familiar with supplies offered by specifically special-needs companies, but this is one more avenue which might have cool stuff you can't find elsewhere. (I loved the Easy Spring scissors.)

    I have no affiliation with the company--just stumbled on the special-needs stuff while searching the site for a gift for an artistic kid.

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  5. I wonder how many special needs parents go there to get pencils because I did the same exact thing last time I was there for the same exact reason as you did.

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  6. Don't know if you know already but... There is a Handwriting Without Tears app. It isn't a replacement for the pencil but is helpful for reinforcing the way to make letters. It has various settings for accuracy.

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    1. I did not know that, and I am going to check it out! Thanks, Patricia.

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  7. YAY, Max! And I hope the IKEA pencil police don't show up. I'm not sure how well those pencils will flush. I'd probably dig a little hole in the yard now, in case you need to bury the evidence quickly.

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    1. Good thinking there, Kristi. Will keep in mind in case of a raid.

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  8. I love it. Sam is only four, but our OT has started talking about "pre-writing skills" and it has me a little freaked out. Sometimes the things that lie ahead of us feel like MOUNTAINS to climb, you know? I need to remember that we only have to make inchstones to get to a milestone, I guess. . . . anyway, quick question - are Max's hands high-tone or low-tone? Sam has really low-tone and a very weak grasp . . . so I'm interested in whether this foam pencil thing would help her.

    Sigh. We need to implement more "grasp-strengthening" activities, I guess.

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    1. Yes, I know that must-climb-mountain feeling all too well! As Max has gotten older, it's gotten much easier to take things on a day-by-day basis. Max's hand are mostly spastic and on the tight side, so it took a very long time for him to be able to grasp a pencil. It takes a lot of concentration for him to hold things, to purposefully open and shut his hands. I am not sure if a foam pencil would help Sam, because perhaps she needs something more narrow and with a little more give. Talk with OT about wrapping Crayola Model Magic or a similar substance around crayons or pencils for more grip. I am going to put up a post tomorrow with more suggestions for you, and hopefully other parents will share ideas too.

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  9. I love how proud he is of himself!! Go Max!!

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  10. It's 6am and you are making me laugh in a post about handwriting!!!!
    This is so timely for me!! Also what handwriting ap did/do you like?
    Thank you.
    liz Tree

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    1. Hi, Liz! Take a look at the post after this, I mentioned a couple of apps and included links.

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  11. I used a dolphin charm on a ribbon to learn how to write. The OT would teach me how to hold the dolphin.

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  12. Do you know what program the L worksheets Max is working on are from? I work with 3-4 year olds that would benefit from them! Thanks

    And GOOOOOO MAX whoo hooo!!!

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    1. The worksheets he uses are from Handwriting Without Tears, from the Get Set For For School workbook.

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Thanks for sharing!



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