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Fine Motor Skills

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

6,540 words with 5 Comments; publish: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 02:45:00 GMT; (900218.75, « »)

My youngest son is having a hard time in school. As a younger child (through age 5) we knew he was ADHD but we never took him to see a professional because that to us was simply too young to be placed on medication. It became necessary when he started school though for obvious reasons. All the time before he started school, we tried on numerous ocassions to get him to sit & color or write with a pencil. Obviously, he could never sit still long enough to do that for very long. He loved using the computer though, so we had no problem with that. We bought him all kinds of reading & math software and he would be occupied with things like that for hours. That was a good thing, because now in 1st grade, he is a much better reader than most of the other children in his class. Academically, he does very well. The problem is, he has never really developed the fine motor skills necessary to write or color very well. His teacher is very inexperienced with ADHD children, and cannot seem to accept my explanation for his sloppy work-which is actually a great improvement in his work from his kindergarden year. First of all, has anyone else had this type of problem with their children. Secondly, what can I do to educate his teacher (although that statement seems completely contradictory to me), and what can I do to help him develop those skills so that his handwriting, coloring, etc. does improve?

Thanks.

Rebecca

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  • 5 Comments
    • The most important skills that I wanted my daughter to have at the age of 18 were social skills because no matter how well you are educated, if you can't get along with people, your life is going to be very limited. The next on the list was that she didn't burn out from the pressures of elementary school and the fact that it would take her 2 hours to do a supposed 15 minute homework assignment (if she could complete it at all). I wanted her to go to college. My next priority was that she learn. Fortunately in the midst of all her hyperactivity and inability to focus, there was a brain that was still absorbing information.

      At the very bottom of my list would be her penmanship and coloring. I do not see any importance to coloring in the lines as far as quality of life is concerned. In fact, I have been taking art classes and one thing the instructors will say is that teaching children to color in the lines is one of the worst things you can do for their budding artistic talents. As far as penmanship goes, you only need to look at that of doctors to know how incrediably unimportant it is to success in life. If you are concerned about his fine motor skill, I would suggest that you purchase toys for him that would help him practice these skills. He is doing so well in school right now, why add the unecessary pressure of coloring in the lines and focusing on penmanship. What he has to say in his writings is going to be far more important.

      If your son has a teacher who does not understand and your feel that it is important for your son that she does, then it does fall on you to educate her. If she has difficulty listening to or understanding your explanations, I would recommend having a professional talk to her. Having my daughter's psychologist meet with her teachers really helped them to listen and to understand.

      It sounds like your little one is doing so well. Congratulations - enjoy him (I'm sure you are). Don't stress out over minor things and don't put pressure on him for things that untimately have little importance.

      #1; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:41:00 GMT
    • My oldest son has difficulty with drawing and handwriting. It is unfortunate that some teachers don't understand that he IS doing his best. He is in 12th grade now. He is also gifted (and ADD). If you tell the teachers that your son has a learning disability in written expression and they still insist that if he tries harder he could write neater, then what else can you say? Some people have their minds set a certain way and can't be persuaded and in that case it just adds more stress to the situation when you try to educate them.

      I would suggest teaching your child to type and let them type their assignments. Also, I have heard that some schools will let a child with a handwriting disability use a laptop in class to type their assignments.

      My two youngest children just started taking karate and the instructor said that it will improve coordination and exercises both sides of the brain. I don't know if that's true or not, but you might want to look into it.

      One thing that did help my son was vision therapy. He had convergence insufficiency in one eye which made it hard for him to do close up work and reading for extended periods of time. His handwriting did improve after the therapy, but he was 10 or 11 at the time and I think it would have improved more if he had had it earlier.

      Well, I hope everything turns out well for you and your child.

      #2; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:42:00 GMT
    • You might see if your school has access to an Occupational Therapist. They will work with your child on developing their fine motor skills. My son worked with one in K-1st and it made a big difference.
      #3; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:43:00 GMT
    • Thanks for that suggestion! I hadn't considered an OT. I don't know if the school has one or not, but I can guarantee you I'll know by the end of the day! Thanks again.

      Rebecca

      #4; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:44:00 GMT
    • If the school does not have an ocupational therapist and his IEP says that he would benefit from an OT, they have to provide the services for you, even if you have to go outside of the school system to get it. I took my son to a psychologist who performed a battery of tests on him. Her rx was an OT 2x a week. The school system had to provide that to him. So they got someone from a special education co-op near our home to work with him twice a week during school. That helped him a lot. There are a lot of resources to help parents out there. But you have to look for them. The school system will not do any more than they have to. The less they have to do for your child, the better off they are financially. It costs the school system more money to put a diabled child through school. And since generally school systems get a set amount of money each year for each student, they try to spend the least amount of money on those who need it the most.

      Barb

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      "Life, for all its agonies...is exciting and beautiful, amusing and artful and endearing... and whatever is to come after it-we shall not have this life again."

      #5; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:45:00 GMT