I was looking at the bag of chips that Elizabeth just opened.  Instead of it being opened carefully, it kind of looked like a game of tug-of-war had been played with it.   My guess is that she was in a hurry as she opened it and did not correctly gauge her strength as she opened the bag.

Because that is something that takes thought for people affected by 

Dyspraxia.

They have a hard time gauging their strength as they do a task.

We call is using “Gentle hands” when it is something she needs a bit of finesse to accomplish. Like when we ask her to dust.

And we call it “Strong/Big hands” when it is something that she needs a strong hand for- like mixing a batch of cookie dough.

These labels and the associated response are things we have taught to Elizabeth over time.  She hears these words and knows what she should do.

Does she do it right every time?  

I will answer that as I remember the sleeve of crushed ice cream cones that she was trying to open with a scissor.  Basically they were cone dust when she was done.

But the thing is, she can gauge her fine motor strength, but it is work…Dyspraxia does not quit!

So back to the teaching thing.

Anything you can use to help your child understand the difference between

Strong/Gentle

Big movements/small movements

Big touches/Small touches

Is HUGE

Back in the day,  okay not that far back in the day, but when we were helping Elizabeth learn we used whatever we had on hand to teach these concepts.  Sometimes actually doing the teaching as we attempted a real life situation.  ( ie. Teaching “gentle hands” while icing her sister’s birthday cake)

But now there are many learning tools that are available to use to help you.

Please take a peek at the Sock Monkey Popper.

He is a rubber Monkey, that has a soft foam ball in his mouth, you squeeze his stomach and the ball shoots out.  Stronger squeezes and the ball flies farther.  Or if squeezed gently, it only goes a little bit.

Pretty neat and pretty fun!

This little guy is great for teaching about strong hands and gentle hands.

He is also great for working on hand strength for those who might have weak muscles.

He is motivating because kids can see where the ball landed and try to get it to go further the next time.

Or even try to aim them into a basket, to work on eye-hand coordination,

Playing with the little guy would not be work or therapy—only fun!

I gotta say, if we had had this earlier, we would have raised the fun level a whole lot!

So if you have a child who struggles with things like I talked about before, take a look at the site.

Maybe fun to play on the driveway and use some sidewalk chalk to mark where everyone’s balls land and have a good time.

I wish you all a peaceful week.

Michele

 

 

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