Occupational Therapy: A Great Intervention For Handwriting Struggles

Have you ever watched a young child learning to write? The process in which they go from scribbling to legible handwriting is really quite amazing, and for many children, it seems to happen effortlessly, over the course of just a few months. However, for some children, the process is much more difficult. As a parent, seeing this struggle can be frustrating.

Fortunately, there is hope. Here are some of the reasons that children struggle with handwriting, and ways that occupational therapy may be able to help:

Sensory Processing Issues

Children who struggle with sensory processing issues may avoid the feeling of certain textures and sensations. If your child struggles with this, holding a pencil correctly can be a seriously challenging task. Using pencil grippers or special types of pencils or crayons, such as golf pencils, Tri-writes, or fat pencils, can help your child to become more at ease with holding a pencil. An occupational therapist can work with your child to determine if the use of any of these devices might help.

Muscle Mapping Problems

Sometimes, a child can visualize the letters that they are trying to write, but when it comes to the actual process of writing, their hands just won't do what their brain tells them to do. For muscle mapping problems, occupational therapists will often teach children to start big, and get progressively smaller.

They may start by having your child draw letters in the air with their whole arm, using a white board, and then have them write their letters within a confined space, such as bubbles or blocks, and eventually have them trace lines, before having them attempt to write letters independently.

Low Muscle Tone

If your child has trouble applying enough pressure to make dark pencil lines on the paper, he or she may have problems with low muscle tone. An occupational therapist may recommend that they do things to improve their muscle tone as well as their fine motor control, such as playing with play-doh or clay. The therapist may also teach you fine motor activities that your child can work on at home as well.

If your child is struggling to learn how to write, you do not have to sit around and watch them suffer. Contact your child's school or pediatrician to have them referred for an occupational therapy screening. You may be asked to provide writing samples for your child, as well as a basic time frame for how long they have been trying to write. By getting help for your child early on, you can provide them with the confidence to become an excellent writer as they grow.

To learn more, contact a company like Bayonet Point Health & Rehabilitation Center with any questions you have.