Summer vacation has ended and school is about to start. To a lot of children, when school starts, the struggle with handwriting begins.
Handwriting problems are very common in children especially children at a young age. Because of this difficulty or problem, they have a hard time catching up with the rest of the class and they will feel frustrated. This frustration can lead to defiance behavior, learning disability, and bullying.
I remember, a mom and her child came to me some time ago. Mom was very frustrated and not sure what else to do to help her child. She said her child had been struggling in class, with her writing and also had behavioral issues.
I worked with the child with her handwriting problems, building up her self-confidence, strengthening, and just talking to her. Her writing started to improve, her fingers did not hurt anymore and she was able to write faster and legibly at the same time. Her grades started improving. She told me in one of our sessions, “I can catch up with the rest of the class and the other kids are not bullying me anymore”.
As it turns out, her writing difficulty made her feel insecure and frustrated because she kept getting left behind in class, she became withdrawn and started lashing out and fighting with everyone, including her parents, and being bullied because of her difficulties.
Most parents ignore their children’s handwriting problems. Thinking that it will improve and that it will be fine. Or that the pain the child feels in her hand, will go away. Not realizing the consequences of not getting the appropriate help for the child. The only way to fix handwriting problems is by fixing the “Fault Lines” in the child. Fault lines are imbalances that stress one part of the body because other parts are weak.
Here are top 3 common causes of handwriting problems with their fixes
- Pain on the fingers. A lot of times, when a child is complaining of pain on her fingers or the hand, you’ll find that the child is holding on to the pencil too much or is pressing onto the paper too much, putting too much stress on the fingers.
Fix: Buy a soft pencil grip for the child. Insert it onto the pencil the child commonly uses. The grip will absorb the excess pressure from the child’s grip, and will also help the way the child is pushing onto the paper. Telling the child to hold it softly and not push when the child writes, will also help.
- Lack of control or sloppy writing. Bad posture can lead to sloppy or illegible writing. For the child to have more control over his/her writing, shoulder stability is needed. When a child is slouched on the chair, there is less stability on the shoulder.
Fix: Have the child sit better on the chair, child’s buttocks sit all the way to the back of the chair, sitting upright, feet on the ground. When writing, make sure one hand holding onto the paper while the other hand writes. Exercise will also help the child improve his/her shoulder strength and stability.
- Lack of basic knowledge of writing. This is another factor that plays a big role in the child’s writing. If a child does not know how to form the letters right or does not know how to stay inside the lines when writing, with the appropriate spacing in between the letters and the words, the child’s writing will be illegible. The child will also be writing a whole lot slower than the other kids.
Fix: Spend some time with your child, teaching him/her how to form the letters right, staying inside the lines, and forming the spaces between the letters and the words right. This will not only help your child with his/her writing, but will also help you understand your child’s struggles more, help you bond, and have fun with your child.
Not all child is the same. What may work with one child, may not work with the other. If your child needs further evaluation and assistance, Call me for a free consultation at (718) 285-0884.