Hi! I’m Taffta and I wear many hats. Not only am I a mom of three, but I am an occupational therapist and owner of Best Practices Behavior & Occupational Therapy and We Rock the Spectrum The Woodlands, and together with my husband, Dustin, we offer PEERS In The Woodlands, an intensive 14 week social skills training curriculum for teens and their families. Having a sensory based indoor playground and owning a private practice gives us a platform to share resources and information. Our passion is to bring families together, offer support, and share as much knowledge with our community as possible. On Tuesdays, I will share tips, strategies, and interesting tidbits I’ve picked up in my 16 years of practice. Please feel free to send me questions or topics to highlight!
Today’s Topic: Quick Fixes For Fisted Grip
Learning handwriting can be super frustrating for kids of all ages. There are so many physical and sensory aspects that can be the underlying root of handwriting problems, but today we will discuss motivation and independence in fixing that pesky fisted grasp. To discourage the negative feelings associated with prewriting or handwriting, we want to make sure that the child makes as many decisions in the process as possible. When addressing grasp, lots of times we want to spend money on pencil grips, triangular crayons, or adaptive devices. In my experience, shortened pencils and crayons work best. That’s right. Break those crayons and pencils so that they are too small to pick up with a child’s whole fist. This encourages a digital grasp over a fisted one and allows for more control of the writing tool. And most of all, when there are only short pencils or crayons to choose from, you are allowing the child the independence to try out a different grasp without adult correction, reducing that fight that happens over holding the pencil/crayon the “right way”. Even better, provide the child with a slanted writing surface to promote stabilization of the wrist and forearm, resulting in increased movement and control by the intrinsic muscles of the hand. A three inch binder is perfect for this! Make sure you have your child sitting in a chair and desk appropriate for his/her size in order to promote proper positioning, therefore reducing unnecessary physical demands.