Friday, January 7, 2011

How do I strengthen my child's hand for writing?

Ms. Dorothy,
My son is having a hard time with writing because it is hard for him to hold a pen or pencil for very long.  He writes faintly because he doesn't press hard enough, and the teacher says his fine motor skills are seriously lagging. Are there things he can do to improve his strength so he can write at grade level?
-Mom of a 2nd grader

Struggling with fine motor development is not uncommon for young boys, but there are some things you can do to help him strengthen his hands.

First take a look at some of the specific activities I suggested in an earlier post about fine motor development.  Some of these may seem a little young to him, but the concept is the same.

You might want to consider getting some occupational therapy tools for him to work with that won't seem as "babyish".  Tools like Eggsercizers, Theraputty, Power-Webs, or DigiFlex hand exercisers might suit him better.  

If his writing is becoming a problem in school, or if he isn't making progress fast enough with these tools, talk to his teacher about having him complete assignments on a keyboard.

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