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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS has pretty significant delay in handwriting. I'm considering just dropping printing all together as a goal activity for the next while.

My experience with both kids is that they, in general, easily acquire skills when they're ready. In so many things, I've learned to just trust them.

This issue feels different. OTs, teachers etc would all suggest to practice regularly to build the necessary skills. But do they know, or can they know, what happens if you just leave it?

Might DS grow into this skill without direct printing practice now? Anyone have any experience just leaving it for later, like you might reading?
 

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I agree that backing off a bit might help, but it also doesn't mean that you don't have to be doing anything that will support writing. (Are you still doing VT?)

Have you looked into any Brain Gym exercises?:
http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Gym-Teac...0315135&sr=8-1

Also -- this book seems like it might help, too, although we don't have it:
http://www.amazon.com/Hands-How-Use-...NVRVR5NMHG7EPZ

Our VT has been very helpful with helping us implement these exercises at home. We are specifically doing a writing exercise that is a infinity sign - called a writing eight exercise. We just started this, so I can't tell you if I'm seeing improvement but ds doesn't mind doing the exercise, so at least that's positive! You can scroll down on this page and read a little more about it.

http://www.dianecraft.org/article-003.htm
 

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My ds is almost 5, and we are remediating because the issue goes way, way beyond forming letters - he can't copy simple shapes, etc. It's a true developmental issue, not an academic progress issue. But since he can read, a lot of the remediation we do at home does use letters - the kid LIKES letters. The OT works more with the draw-a-shape aspect of it all.

If your ds can draw/copy at approximately age level, I second the advice to drop the penmanship practice for six months. Maybe get him interested in using a keyboard, if he's not already? Both of my kids (3 and 5) luuuuurve to work with letters on a keyboard, and will be going into the penmanship phase of their lives knowing how to spell a lot of words, which I think will make the work less tedious for them.
 

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I agree that 6 is young for handwriting, esp. w/boys. My 6 y/o can write well, but hates it-it's not an active enough activity for him.

My dd could not print well at all, but interestingly, cursive writing feels much better to her. An OT works with her around some hand-strengthening exercises and "memory" for letter formation, and this is going well. BUT, she's 10, and she's receptive to this type of work. At 6 she wouldn't have been, and it would have been very frustrating.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
My ds is almost 5, and we are remediating because the issue goes way, way beyond forming letters - he can't copy simple shapes, etc. It's a true developmental issue, not an academic progress issue. But since he can read, a lot of the remediation we do at home does use letters - the kid LIKES letters. The OT works more with the draw-a-shape aspect of it all.

If your ds can draw/copy at approximately age level, I second the advice to drop the penmanship practice for six months. Maybe get him interested in using a keyboard, if he's not already? Both of my kids (3 and 5) luuuuurve to work with letters on a keyboard, and will be going into the penmanship phase of their lives knowing how to spell a lot of words, which I think will make the work less tedious for them.
I would think -- if it is not a real issue with fine motor control to jsut leave it till he has more intrest in making it work.

AImee
 

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LauraLoo, thank you for your links. Some of the descriptors in the Diane Craft article fit my seven year old perfectly. Interesting. I haven't pushed at all, but writing is decidedly laborious for her and she would like to be able to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses!

I'm sorry I wasn't clear, I meant printing. I'll change the thread title
.

We know he has gross motor and fine motor issues, motor planning issues, and vision issues.

Common wisdom would be to keep working at it and he'll make incremental progress with practice. I'm just not sure if this is true with this particular skill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
I agree that backing off a bit might help, but it also doesn't mean that you don't have to be doing anything that will support writing. (Are you still doing VT?)

Have you looked into any Brain Gym exercises?:
http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Gym-Teac...0315135&sr=8-1

Also -- this book seems like it might help, too, although we don't have it:
http://www.amazon.com/Hands-How-Use-...NVRVR5NMHG7EPZ

Our VT has been very helpful with helping us implement these exercises at home. We are specifically doing a writing exercise that is a infinity sign - called a writing eight exercise. We just started this, so I can't tell you if I'm seeing improvement but ds doesn't mind doing the exercise, so at least that's positive! You can scroll down on this page and read a little more about it.

http://www.dianecraft.org/article-003.htm

Hi!

We never did go for the VT. The glasses with prism seem to have made a huge difference on their own.

We saw someone and got brain gym exercises for SPD when he was 4; I sort of fell off that wagon. I'll check out your book suggestions, thank you!

Your link looks interesting, thanks for that as well. More to explore!

I'm seriously considering taking him to see the Eides. No idea how I'd get the money, but I'm feeling quite exasperated. I'd like to have a clearer idea of what I should leave to develop naturally and what I should work on with him.
 

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I would back off on practicing printing letters.
What I did was give dd more activities to do to help dd's motor skills. I think you need to do those regularly. There are a lot of play activities that help so it shouldn't seem too serious.
http://www.handwritinghelpforkids.com/basics.html

Dd (9) is able to print legibly now. She avoids writing whenever possible but she can do it. I don't think it is something that she'll ever love doing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I would back off on practicing printing letters.
What I did was give dd more activities to do to help dd's motor skills. I think you need to do those regularly. There are a lot of play activities that help so it shouldn't seem too serious.
http://www.handwritinghelpforkids.com/basics.html

Dd (9) is able to print legibly now. She avoids writing whenever possible but she can do it. I don't think it is something that she'll ever love doing.
that is an AWSWOME site -- it is also answers some questions i had -- about WHEN a child is ready / how to tell if a child is ready (i know mine is not NOW but i want to be know when he is
)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom View Post
LauraLoo, thank you for your links. Some of the descriptors in the Diane Craft article fit my seven year old perfectly. Interesting. I haven't pushed at all, but writing is decidedly laborious for her and she would like to be able to do it.
Here, too. (Yet again, TEAK's Mom!) That article was very interesting. I am going to test her eye dominance and do that 8 thing.

Today I took out a book on cursive writing for her to practice in, and I couldn't believe how much she enjoyed it. She spent a long time on it, and was so proud of what she had done. I keep thinking-- she writes well when she writes (in terms of what she says, punctuation, etc.) BUT it is such a "laborious process" for her that she resists . . .how much more could she be getting down for her own self?

I really need to get her back to learning to type, too.

Thank you for this thread!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Hi!
I'm seriously considering taking him to see the Eides. No idea how I'd get the money, but I'm feeling quite exasperated. I'd like to have a clearer idea of what I should leave to develop naturally and what I should work on with him.
I would love to take a trip to see the Eides. I hope you can swing it so I can live vicariously through you!
 

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I'll echo the idea of dropping *writing* practice, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't do other things that "indirectly" work on writing.

In other words, forget about letters, but do other things.

For instance, this:

http://www.montessoriequipment.com/M...-p/l.411.1.htm

You might not be able to tell immediately just from the picture exactly how it works... but each square inset fits in a wooden frame with paper in it, and you take out the inside part so you have like a stencil. The kids trace the inside of the shape. When they're ready for it, they also do the reverse -- just put the inside piece in the frame and trace the outside of the shape. These particular shapes are specifically chosen because they exercise the motions and gestures that are used in handwriting. The stencil outline gives direction and support to developing the gestures.

That's fine motor. Then there's large motor -- doing big circles and other shapes on a blackboard, using your whole arm. Drawing in salt or sand.

When you do want to do stuff with letters again, don't focus first just on normal-sized letters on paper. Try extra-large letters (large motor skills) on the blackboard. And try tactile things like this:

http://www.montessoriequipment.com/D...-p/l.431.1.htm

But anyway, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Six-year-old boys who are developmentally "normal" typically have horrible handwriting. So since you already know he has motor issues, don't worry about the writing itself at this point. I think focussing on more "fun" things which are indirectly related to writing will be much more helpful in the long run.
 

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I see no problem with leaving it for a while. He's on the young end. If he was eight I wouldn't have the same advice though. At a certain point for some kids it really does take practice to build that motor memory and there is no substitution for just putting the time in.

What to do instead depends on whether you see it mostly as an issue of maturity, of motor planning or of strength/tone. For our child working on core upper body strength helped as did working on hand strength. There are lots of ways to go about that - pushing and pulling activities, theraputty or clay, etc.
 
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