Part of the Monster’s class’ curriculum is for the children to learn to write. There’s a variety of levels in his class, ranging from children who have had some preparation before arriving, down through children who are still learning to recognize letters. Obviously, even though we’re in a world where computers are increasingly important and kids aren’t being taught cursive handwriting anymore, he needs at some point to be able to learn to form the letters on his own.
Now, as mentioned, occupational therapy is part of his IEP – he has problems with fine motor control. Half of the problem, from where I sit, is that we’re still not sure which hand is dominant, but that’s really just more of a complication than a true hinderance. The other half of the problem is that he’s just not steady enough with a standard grip for him to be able to reliably form the letters.
Granted, he also doesn’t like to write or draw on flat papers. He’s more inclined to make single lines when presented with crayons, trying them out in turn, rather than scribble something, and he has to be somewhat directed if one wants something as a real output from the process. It’s been a struggle to get him to do his homework at times, especially if it means having to hold an instrument and make figures on a paper.
When asked, he can write his name. It’s definitely shaky and doctor-like, but it’s also definitely recognizable as his full name. This is a big step forward from where he had been at this time last year, when he was still having trouble getting his first name down on paper. But still, it’s hardly anything that I’d be thrilled about in a few more years, and yes, I do understand that his penmanship is something that’s going to be in his IEP for a while to come.
His outside therapist has suggested a few times that we should get him a specific grip to help him hold onto the pencil. I’m not against it, certainly – even I used a triangle-grip on my pencils through fourth or fifth grade to help me write clearly – but I’d like to think that at some point, he’ll be able to use a normal pencil without an aid.
And, if I really want to make things complicated, at some point we probably want him to learn to write in Hebrew too…