Monday, April 23, 2012

Pencil Control

Pencil Control: Let's start getting better pencil control for writing. Frequently, I have a parent of a child, who is not yet able to imitate horizontal or vertical lines, or draw a circle, complain to me that their child is not able to write his/her name. The parent inevitably wants me to focus on teaching their child how to form the letters of his/her name. I try to patiently explain that their child is not yet ready for that, that there are foundation steps to master prior to the ability to write letters. An Olympic ice skater doesn't start out learning the difficult jumps that everyone wants to see. First she has to master the basic skill of being able to stay upright on the ice. There are multiple other skills to master prior to her ever even trying the difficult jumps. Same thing with writing.
Today's OT Strategy: Start by having your child learn to draw controlled horizontal and vertical lines.
You can have him/her draw on paper.
Set up an easel and have him/her use a paint brush.
Go outside and use chalk on the driveway to draw long lines.
Put shaving cream/whipped cream on a cookie sheet and have him/her use his/her index finger to draw lines.
Draw around the edges of a chalkboard.
Any OTs/Teachers out there with any other ideas?  Feel free to share them.

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