Need a Hand?

Perhaps it’s the letters after my name.  Perhaps, it’s the fact that I’ve got two teens and haven’t pulled out all my hair (yet).  Whatever it is, I find myself frequently fielding questions well beyond the scope of SLP—anything from bedtime routines, disciplining and handwriting.

I have distinct memories of Mrs. Shrader’s first grade class and needing to be reminded to use “your right hand.”  (Did you gasp?  I don’t think I was ever a true lefty, just late to make a decision.)  To this day, I don’t hold a pencil “correctly” (though I do hold it “right!”) and I print. recently posted an article, “Has Technology Ruined Handwriting?”.  It goes on to explain that several states have forgone teaching cursive altogether and that the prevalence of electronic devices has so greatly diminished the need for handwriting, many of us can go days, weeks, month, without the need of a pen.  (Check out the article for an interesting commentary on the deterioration of thinking processes as a result of relying on typed communication.)

Really?  I find this awfully hard to believe.  Not a postcard, birthday card, shopping list, love note, nothing?  That really is sad.

Though, I suppose I’m a bit old fashioned.  I’ve stuck with a paper calendar because it works so much better for me (an electronic phase was a disaster).  You’d better sit down for this—I write most of my blog posts by hand before typing it into WordPress.  I seem to think better on paper.  That said, I’m not a stickler.  If a kid really “can’t” write, and by this I mean undue struggling of any kind, I’m all for typing.

While I have no great tips to pass on to parents regarding pencil grip, I am more than happy to be another “practice session.”  I try to do this without asking for too much actual writing since many of these kiddos are reluctant writers at best.

Two of may favorite tricks are using a stylus with the iPad and using window/glass markers on a mirror (I keep it flat on the table).  Both are highly motivating (the mirror has a strangely illicit appeal).

I recently came across this fabulous post and blog that I’ll be referring parents to this year (click here).   And the PediaStaff Pinterest boards include super ideas as well.

Who knows?  Maybe, I’ll finally fix my own grip!

So where do you fall on the writing/typing spectrum?  Anyone want to own up to founding father-level penmanship?


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tammy Hayes

    I am a hand writing fanatic. To this day I experiment with changing the way I make certain letters (cursive and print). My cursive handwriting is a window to my stress level. I can look at the way I write and know if I am stressed or relaxed. Only time will tell the long term impacts of no longer teaching cursive. Maybe it will be like learning to play an instrument-something you always wished you had done.

    1. admin

      Fascinating–keep it up! Kim

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.