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11 year old with bad handwritting, how can i help?

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18 replies to this topic

#1 sydney75

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

My 11 year old has very bad writting.
Anyway he has see the occupational therapist 3 times and he has 2 more sessions left because there isnt much left in my private health fund to use up.
He is on a waiting list for occupational therapy through the community health centre and takes one year.

Is there a website that i can print out pages for handwritting?

Also is there anywhere else i can put him on a waiting list?

#2 mumto3princesses

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:44 PM

I don't know about a website or waiting lists etc but there is heaps of handwriting workbooks in newsagents or bookshops. Maybe even cheapie junk type shops. I know I found spelling and maths ones at a couple of junk shops once.

#3 luke's mummu

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

Your private health fund should start paying again in the new year - most are by calendar year.

Also you may be able to get a 'medicare extended allied health plan' - sorry I can't think of the exact words for 5 funded visits - need to see your GP and they fill out a lot of paperwork.

#4 baddmammajamma

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

In addition to the suggestions above, sit in on the next session of OT that he has. Ask the OT to give you additional exercises for your son that you can put into play at home.

#5 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

To be honest.... I think some people will always have bad handwriting  ph34r.gif I don't have any practical solutions. I had special instructions studying teaching at Uni that I really needed to improve to pass. I guess I must have tried really hard to do so lol.

My daughter is the same. I find handwriting SO frustrating because it is impossible to get my thoughts down quick enough. Learning to touch type on a typewriter, and hence being a very fast touch typist now is my saving grace.

I can barely read my own addressed letters.

One thing that probably helped in the past was a book about calligraphy. I used to practice as a child as the pen was so nice to use, and the style of writing so elegant. If you saw the work I did with a calligraphy pen, compared to with a normal pen you wouldn't know it is the same person writing. Perhaps something like that would help?

#6 Magenta Ambrosia

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

Maybe your child is destined to be a Doctor

#7 sydney75

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 17/12/2012, 11:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you say he has "bad" handwriting, what exactly do you mean? HIS WRITTING IS SMALL, MESSY AND CANT READ THE WRTTING.

He can't hold a pen / pencil properly and co-ordinate himself to write legibly? NO
Or his writing is so untidy it's unreadable? YES
Or he can't recognise and work out how to write on lines across the page etc? NO

what is HIS perception of how he writes? Can he identify himself what the problem with his writing is? or does he think his writing is okay? HE SAYS HE DOESNT KNOW WHY HIS WRITTING IS LIKE THAT, AND HE SAYS HE TRYS HIS BEST BUT IT TURNS OUT LIKE THAT.

Does he want to improve? or is he jsut playing along with what the adults in his life are saying is incorrect? YES HE WANTS TO IMPROVE AND I SEE I DO SEE HIM TRYING REALLY WELL TO DO THE WORKSHEETS.

I would think there are different reasons for each of these things above and depending on what the actual issue is, would take different approach?


Edited by mercedez, 17 December 2012 - 10:14 PM.

#8 Ducky*Fuzz

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:50 PM

This is going back a few years now, but my son saw an OT for hypermobile thumb which was impacting on a few things. He did a bit of threading and pulling objects out of putty (it's hard to pull apart, unlike clay and playdough).

Dot to dots were good for him as well, and tracing handwriting patterns, like swirls and waves.

#9 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:57 PM

This was my DS when he was about the same age as yours. His OT concentrated on exercises to improve upper body strength as he could not sit up properly and control a pen due to poor muscle tone in arms and shoulders. Things like swimming and ball catching/throwing helped. Writing is still abysmal but readable.

#10 sydney75

Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:38 PM

QUOTE (luke's mummu @ 17/12/2012, 10:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your private health fund should start paying again in the new year - most are by calendar year.

Also you may be able to get a 'medicare extended allied health plan' - sorry I can't think of the exact words for 5 funded visits - need to see your GP and they fill out a lot of paperwork.

he has already used the 5 visits of speech therapy (language and grammar) and will use it for speech as well for next year.

#11 Overtherainbow

Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:53 PM

Some children benefit from multicoloured paper, where each dotted third is in a different colour.  You can purchase th paper from OT suppliers.  I know skill builders supply online, not sure on price comparisons.

Is there a diagnosed issue causing the difficulties?  If so your child may be eligible to receive access to a computer or scribe for standardised testing and Naplan.  How's his typing speed?

Has your OT provided a home programme?  Are they willing to supply a list of recommendations to help your child develop with another session in a months time?

We've been down the OT trail and I feel your pain, juggling the costs and the needs of your child.  If they require physio or speech speak to your GP about an allied health plan.

#12 lylac

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

My son's teacher makes up stories in a dotted font to try to keep it interesting.

I think a previous poster was talking about theraputty.

#13 **sharon**

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:28 AM

Clay, playdough, stress balls etc help build and bevelop muscles which can help a great deal.

#14 Georgie01

Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:01 AM

Talk to the OT and see what can be done at home and school. My son has had 3 years of OT to help with his handwriting. His OT provides extra exercises tailored for him and also advises on tools (like grips) and exercises (like using the theraputty). She also gets his teachers on board (the OT visits the school for the sessions) and they get him to do little exercises throughout the day and also provide her with feedback on what work seems to be causing problems. After each of his sessions I get a report that includes suggestions for exercises/tools for both home and school.

#15 Sassenach2

Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (Magenta Ambrosia @ 17/12/2012, 11:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe your child is destined to be a Doctor

You beat me to that quote. rolleyes.gif

#16 *bucket*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:27 PM

Not sure if you have access to an iPad or not, but if you do there is an app called dexteria.  It does cost $5.50ish I think, but has exercises and games to help improve strength in fingers etc. we haven't had it very long so I can't report too much personally but the reviews are all good and our OT suggested it was worth a try.  My DS is now 16 and has been having OT for many years. At this stage we will try anything to help. He has improved over time but his finger strength and tone are still low and he writes very slowly for it to be legible.

Good luck.

#17 Paladin

Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:58 PM

Calligraphy.  Buy him a calligraphy set for over the holidays.  Improved my handwriting by miles when I was a kid.  If nothing else, it's a fun holiday project.

#18 aidensmum

Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

My sons handwriting is very messy.  He has some issues with motor skills in general and lack of core strength means he rests his head on his hand so cant use his spare hand to hold the paper still.  Writing is a complicated process and hard to get right if there are other issues.  We realised that he didn't do well in Japanese this year as he can't write the characters neatly enough for the teacher to read, even though he knows the answers and verbally he is great.  Feel like a idiot that we didn't figure that one out.  He's switching to a tablet computer at school next year, so that should make life easier.

#19 SnazzyFeral

Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

I have dysgraphia and nothing really worked, I still have barely legible hand writing. However my OT as a teen gave me some good exercises so I would be asking the OT for more or getting them to suggest some workbooks more catered to his particular problem. If he has dysgraphia then getting him to do more workbooks or calligraphy won’t help all that much (although they aren’t pointless exercises) as there needs to be a holistic approach that takes into account other things like balance, muscle memory and sequencing.

ETA Finding an OT who specialises in specific learning disabilities might also help.

Edited by SnazzySass, 24 December 2012 - 12:28 PM.

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