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How my Son learnt to write

Writing was another struggle in our journey of learning like Hair cut, Nail cut and Brushing.  When I attempted to make him write  at the age of around five, he was not even able to hold the pencil properly.  Now he is ten years old and he is independent to write.

Though the journey is long, he somehow made it. Before I start to discuss about the way we practice writing, I want to mention some of the Fine motor activities that I made him to do alongside. Note: Fine Motor activities means activities targeted at improving hand-finger-eyes synchrnoization, as these are required for writing skill.

I made him to do very simple activities, like
  • Nuts and Bolts Fig (1)- Screw and unscrew.
  • Colour buttons Fig (2) - pin it randomly and take it out.
  • Building blocks Fig(3) - stack it and unstack.


                Fig (1)                                           Fig (2)                                               Fig(3)



Punching Machine Fig(4) - Punch randomly.
Tong and Beads Fig(5) - Transfer beads from one bowl to another using tong.
Beads and string Fig(6) - String the beads.
Lacing Fig (7)
Sand tub Fig(8) - Hide some objects and find. 

      




                Fig (4)                                           Fig (5)                                               Fig(6)


                Fig (7)                                           Fig (8)                    


I didn't use water colour and play clay since he had mouthing and sensory issue of touching sticky things.

However, even after a lot of exercise to his fingers, he struggled to hold the pencil. Therapist advised me to use gripper. But I never tried gripper, instead I used White board maker and triangle shaped pencils and big caryons for coloring .

I use white board marker to write in a laminated sheet like below. In the early days, I didn't use books available in the market. Since I felt that the size of the font is very small to copy for him. So I prepared materials with large font size and laminate it, which can be reused any number of times.


                                                                      Fig (9)
Below are some prewriting activities, which are prepared similar to above. Hundreds of worksheets are available online, which can be downloaded and use directly. At this stage  he was able to trace on the dotted lines using marker and pencil.







However,when I started with tracing alphabets and numbers, he found it difficult since he didn't know where to start and end the alphabet and number. Since he was comfortable with connecting dots like Fig (9), I try to built alphabets and numbers in the same pattern using dots as shown in the Fig (10)














                                                                             Fig (10)

I took selected alphabets like O,S,V,W,Z where he can draw it with a single stroke. To make him comfortable I put some three alphabets in a A4 size( that is the alphabets are big enough for him to trace easily). And I made him to trace on the laminated sheet with maker only and not with paper and pencil as he was still not getting comfortable in holding the pencil. So I continued his fine motor skill activities side by side.  Once he was comfortable and able to write these alphabets, I moved on to tracing the dotted alphabets like in the Fig (11) given below
                                                                           Fig(11)

I made him to practice all the alphabets and the numbers upto ten. After a while I started to practice with paper and pencil like the following Fig(12).

                                                                            Fig(12)

Once he was able to trace with pencil I started to reduce the size of the font gradually both in the laminated sheets and in the paper. Here are the some sample pages-Fig(13)





                                                                             Fig(13)
At this stage he can trace the dotted alphabets and numbers independently. so I tried to make him to copy the alphabets and numbers like the samples given below-Fig(14)






                                                                  Fig(14)

Once he learnt to copy the alphabets and numbers , I stopped using the laminated sheets and  marker. But one thing worried me a lot was the physical dependency. When I started making him practice in paper with Penchil. I held his hand and made him write. But slowly faded away to a mere touch of my finger.  But however he was dependant on this prompt my forefinger at least touching his hands to write. If I try to withdraw the physical prompt then he started to make circles simply.

Even after continuous and daily practice the he depended on the physical prompt.

One day while browsing a forum for Autism, I saw a posting about make the child to draw shapes and  images like below.-Fig(15)
                                                                      Fig(15)

When I tried the same,  he was independent in copying the images from the beginning. After a week of practice of images, he started to write the alphabets and numbers independent without ANY PROMPTS.

Now I reduced the font size much smaller than the days I started to practice Numbers and Alphabets. If you compare the following picture-Fig(16) with the pictures above, you can see the difference.
                                                                          Fig(16)

Now I am happily working with him for neat presentation-Fig(17).


                                                                       Fig(17)

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