Archives for the month of: August, 2019

So I wrote the blog last week about the new pens.

I told you how I was going to try to introduce the pens to Elizabeth to try.  So here is how it went…(spoiler alert!

Read the rest of this entry »

Elizabeth just started school yesterday.

She loved her first day and after the anxiety she showed in anticipation of it, we were happy she got that first day under her belt. On our way home from school she was telling me about her day and all that went on including her experience in her class that she is taking.
She told me about the teacher and that she took some notes in class. While this all sounds so good, the reality is that with her special needs of dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder ( SPD), the art of notetaking can be very challenging. From the act of hearing the words spoken, to processing the words, to getting them onto paper with her motor challenges. All while the professor keeps talking. Because, after all, no one is going to wait until she catches up to continue.
So her notes are sketchy and are gratefully augmented by the buddy who is her support in the class.
We go over her notes each day and she fills in all of the voids using the buddy’s note And this is where the whole writing/grip the pencil thing rears its ugly head….again.
Because she:
Write a few words.
Spin the pencil.
Grip it differently.
Write a few words.
Fiddles with the pencil. And so on. I know this has to do with her sensory challenges and anxiety but it would be so much better is she would regain the correct grip each time.
So….. we are going to focus on typing this semester because that is what she can do well and it is what is asked of by the professor. So while she can take notes, we decided to use the buddy’s notes and encourage her to type up her own notes from them. I think that is a good growth for her and we are excited to do that.
But it is still that writing that is another work in progress. And for those who have a special needs child, you may get this point so well. You have to help your child succeed, such as the typing, but not forget to continue to work on those goals that are coming along, such as the writing well.
With that in mind, the hunt for a tool to use to encourage the writing does not end. In fact,I recently came across a pen option that I am going to try, partly because it is new to us and partly because it is a new school year and trying something fresh kind of just fits better, at least to me.
The pen is called PenAgain.

It is shaped like a wishbone and you position it so that most of the writing motion comes from your pointer finger directing the motion. Kind of like when you use a wipe of marker on a large wipe off board. You use your pointer finger more. Or if I am kicking it old school, when you write on a chalk board with chalk. I tried it and truly it is really comfortable and it completely takes any choice of finger placement out of the mix. Meaning Elizabeth could write and spin but will go back to the same grip….because there is only one that is comfortable.
For us, this might be a good option. I will let you know.
Our site has other writing options for you to take a look at because now is a good time to see what fits your child and their new school year. And also, not a bad idea to let the school OT know about your pen/grip choice and work because then it can be reinforced in the classroom as well.
So day two for Elizabeth is today, I will let you know how the PenAgain is working for us.
Again, we are all a work in progress!
I wish everyone a peaceful week.
Michele Gianetti author of “ I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “ Emily’s Sister

%d bloggers like this: