When Lady C was 2 and half years old she started reading independently. At first we thought she was just memorizing books so color us shocked when she started reading book after book without having it read to her first. She is now 5 and can read pretty much anything she puts her hands on and is enjoying chapter books. We don’t say this to impress you because all kids have SOME special skill where they accelerate and then lack in some other area. Our kid is an early reader and our kid’s area of concern is HANDWRITING!
So while Lady is reading books left and right (pun intended) including reading to her sister, we noticed that she was not holding writing utensils well… we noticed that she was holding them in her left hand. Neither of us are left handed and it proved to be difficult to show her or teach her the proper grip. Couple that with over use of tablet devices and by the time she was in Pre-K her teacher referred her to the in-school Occupational Therapist. She was assessed and sure enough, the report came back that her hold is weak as compared to her fellow students. I know I know — some of you are probably out there thinking, she’s 5! What’s the big deal? And… that’s what we thought when she was 3 and when she was 4 but we started to get more concerned as the year passed particularly because she did not LIKE writing and drawing.
After hearing that report we have focused more on encouraging her to draw and write as much as possible and found ways to make it fun! Practice makes perfect and handwriting would only improve with practice.
Here are some of the things we are doing:
1) We have Lady C write birthday cards for all of her friend’s birthday parties. ALL. She LOVES this and now she looks forward to drawing and is a pro and writing her “To: and From:” greetings. We (un)fortunately go to a lot of kid parties so this happens often. We also encourage her to write and draw stories because her imagination is wild and she always has a good story in her.
2) We encourage her to write on an easel. Holding a writing instrument upright forces a better grip because of the position of the arm.
3) We actually went back to cursed electronic device and got an App called Wet.Dry.Try but we have her use a stylus instead of her fingers. The app provides a progress report and makes writing fun and a game for kids.
4) And this summer we went a step further, we enrolled her in an occupational therapy gym called SPOTS in Brooklyn. We realized that we were holding her back because of our tough time trying to teach her how to write and in 6 weeks of attending she has come around sooooo much. We are so grateful to her Occupational Therapist, Barbara and we made Barbara a card to thank her as well. Lady C looks forward to occupational therapy and is sad that she will be leaving soon.
So – that’s our story. Our kid is not perfect (ha!). Two right handed parents… one left handed kid!