The Brain Coach’s View on Handwriting:
Your child may know how to form letters and numbers but doing it neatly is a challenge. You may have taught your child to hold a pencil right but there is still a struggle. A good pencil grasp is key to good, efficient handwriting. If you have tried to teach your child how to hold a pencil correctly and he still can’t do it, then the question begs answering, “Why?”
These types of symptoms often stem from a lack of good brain/body connections. The distance from the brain to the fingertips is a long way for signals to travel.
Many children have low muscle tone because lots of running and playing outside is curtailed by safety issues as well as the belief that more time needs to be spent INSIDE in the classroom.
The NeuroDevelopmental Approach can provide specific stimulation to the brain to remediate these issues.
Hanging from a chin-up bar or crossing monkey bars will build strength in the hands.
Frequent exertive exercise is needed to build a strong lung capacity and increase oxygen intake for good muscle tone. (This will help brain function, too.)
To build the brain/body connection you can use an activity called “Deep Pressure on Hand and Arm” that provides stimulation to the brain to build better neuropathways from the deep tissue in the arm to the brain. The parent uses the thumb and pointer to press or squeeze each of the child’s fingers, starting with the tips of the fingers and working into the child’s palm. Then the parent uses his whole hand to press or squeeze the child’s arm from the hand working all the way up the inside and outside of the arm to the shoulder. “Deep Pressure on Hand and Arm” should be done one minute twice a day on the dominant arm for six to eight months.
Squeezing a stress ball or therapy putty for one minute twice a day will build the flexor muscles.
Putting the child’s whole hand inside a hyper-flex ball and then opening against that pressure for a minute twice a day will build up the extensor muscles of the fingers. Good handwriting takes both flexors and extensor muscles to do fine motor activities like handwriting.
Push on pop out eye animals or squirt animals with index finger and thumb to build the cortical opposition (index and thumb touching pad to pad) needed for proper pencil grasp.
Poppers, and button tug on a string can also develop cortical opposition that is important for manipulating a pencil.
Consider products like “The Claw” or the “Twist N Write” that can support and train muscle memory for holding a pencil correctly.
Stretching a hyper-flex ball for a minute two times a day will build up the flexor muscles of the fingers. Consider products like putty-eye creatures, squirt fish, poppers, and button on a string to develop cortical opposition (index and thumb touching pad to pad) which is important for manipulating a pencil. A “claw” can train muscle memory for holding a pencil correctly.
Squirt Sharks and Fish Stencils Poppers
Cursive Logic The CLAW Twist N' Write Hyperfelx Ball Pop Out Eye Animals Button Tug of War
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