The SitRite chair might be for you. After sending parents to the Stokke website for years, it became clear that this chair wasn’t “all that” for every kid. No armrests, a really hard seat, and once a child pushed away from the table or desk, they needed an adult to help them get closer…… Continue reading Finally… A Desk Chair For Your Hypermobile Kid, And it Has a Footrest!
This is not a post about the developing world, where getting a full meal supersedes writing a full sentence. It is about allowing errors to go ignored because a child “tried their best, and we don’t want them to get discouraged”. Handwriting is not intuitive. Walking appears to be a skill that we are programmed…… Continue reading What Happens When Adults Don’t Teach Handwriting
One of the common questions children will ask me when I am working with them on handwriting is “Why is your “6” different from my book’s “6”? , or why is your ” M” different from my book’s “M” ? This is an EXCELLENT question. Here is the answer: because a computer made those numbers…… Continue reading How To Write Numbers And Letters To Avoid Confusing Young Children
The JointSmart Child series started off in 2019 with Volume One: The Early Years. It is finally time for the school-age child to have their needs addressed! Volume Two: The School Years is available now on Amazon as an e-book, filled with information to make life at home and at school easier and safer. This…… Continue reading A Practical Guide to Helping the Hypermobile School-Age Child Succeed
One of my colleagues with a hypermobile third-grader told me this chair has been a great chair at school for her child. It hits a lot of my targets for a good chair recommendation, so here it is: The Giantex chair. Why do I like it so much? It is a bit adaptable and it…… Continue reading Need a Desk Chair for Your Hypermobile School-Age Child? Check out the Giantex Chair
Many children resist doing their homework, but most kids say “Its so BORING!” not “My hand hurts too much”. If a child is complaining of pain, and they don’t have a joint disease such as JRA, the first thought is hypermobility. The good news is that there are a few fast fixes that can decrease…… Continue reading When Writing Hurts: The Hypermobile Hand
I just received another referral for a kid with “weak’ hands. Can’t hold a pencil correctly, can’t make a dark enough mark on paper when he writes or colors. But his mom says he has quite a grip on an object when he doesn’t want to hand something over. He plays soccer without problems and…… Continue reading The Hypermobile Hand: More Than A Strength Problem
‘Tis the season, and Elf On The Shelf is back for more fun! Some parents adore the concept and cannot wait to move that little elf around the house every night, and others mock him and his expanding merchandising. Now that he is getting kids to write and draw, and parents will be able…… Continue reading The Elf on the Shelf Could Get Your Child to Write a Letter to Santa!
Here in the US, kids are getting ready to go back to school. And most of them haven’t been writing much in the last 6-8 weeks. At the kindergarten level, some children will have forgotten any lowercase letters they knew in the spring. At the 1-2 grade levels, it is not uncommon for kids to…… Continue reading Make Handwriting Fun While Getting Ready For The New School Year
If your child barely makes a mark when he scribbles or writes, most adults assume that grasp is an issue. Today’s post suggests that something else could be the real reason for those faint lines. Limitations in postural and bilateral control contribute far more to lack of pressure when writing than most parents and teachers…… Continue reading Child Writing Too Lightly on Paper? It Might Not Be Hand Strength Holding Him Back
As a pediatric OTR, I am often asked to assess and teach proper pencil grasp. Once you start looking, you see a lot of interesting patterns out there. When a child clearly has low muscle tone and/or hypermobile joints, the question of what to do about an atypical pencil grasp used to puzzle me. I…… Continue reading Does An Atypical Pencil Grasp Damage Joints or Support Function In Kids With Hypermobility?
Most workbooks feature dot-to-dot practice for writing letters. They shouldn’t. Why? The answer is obvious if you know how to teach handwriting. The biggest problem is that so few people understand how children learn to write, and what gets in their way. There are 3 stages of learning: imitating an adult, copying printed materials, and…… Continue reading Why Dot-To-Dot Letter Practice Slows Down Writing Speed and Legibility
Does it matter how a child erases their mistake? You are probably thinking that I ran out of topics for my blog this week. Not exactly. I was thinking about what makes my handwriting posts different than other bloggers that publish posts on early writing skills. I like to look at all the details when…… Continue reading Teach Your Kindergartener How To Erase Like a Big Kid
I have read two reviews of Anne Trubek’s book The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, one of them in the New York Times The Story of How Handwriting Evolved, and May Soon Die Off. I have not read her book yet, but since I work with young children, I spend plenty of time with “boots…… Continue reading Does Handwriting Have An Uncertain Future in School?
Here in the U.S., summer is fully underway. Pools, camps, and vacations! Handwriting isn’t really on anyone’s radar. Except mine. Without practice, kids with learning differences, motor control issues, and visual-perceptual concerns can lose a lot of the skills that they worked so hard on all year long in therapy. Here is a fun…… Continue reading Summer Fun Pre-Writing Activities
Teaching left-handed children to write in a right-handed world (estimates for right dominance varies, but always hovers over 80%) isn’t really all that different. However, there are two specific actions that parents and teachers need to make while teaching that rarely make it to the blogs and articles on the web. Read on. I will…… Continue reading The Two Important Handwriting Teaching Strategies For Lefties That Everyone Forgets
It seems so simple: if a child can write all of her uppercase and lowercase letters independently, she should be able to use paper with only a baseline as an anchor. I see too many kids in kindergarten and first grade go from proud writers to discouraged writers when the “training wheels” of extra…… Continue reading Why The Switch to Single-Line Paper Creates Handwriting Problems
These pencils help students with the following handwriting issues: They use too much force while writing, and the pencil tips break frequently. They need more tactile information to achieve and keep a mature pencil grasp. They rarely notice that they need to sharpen their pencil to improve legibility. Getting up to sharpen a pencil distracts…… Continue reading Great Mechanical Pencils Can Improve Your Child’s Handwriting Skills