Archives for posts with tag: Pencil grip

Mornings can be chaotic regardless of the circumstance. Between preparing schoolbags, making breakfast, actually getting through breakfast, packing lunches, walking the dogs, and trying to find your kid’s other shoe so you can leave the house already, morning mayhem is part of everyone’s routine! Being the parent of a special needs child adds an entirely different element of preparation to the day. But with a little planning, mornings could be a more seamless operation.Mother and daughter under blanket - Special Needs Essentials

1. Get Good Sleep

First and foremost, getting a good night’s sleep is paramount in shaping the next morning for success. It’s important to get on a consistent sleep-and-wake schedule, and stick to it. Try making your child’s room as dark as possible to help ensure a full night’s rest. Weighted blankets can help, too.

2. Develop A Ritual

Believe it or not, all children love rituals. But when your family has special needs, the discipline of a routine is essential. Make your mornings an orderly endeavor: do the same things in the same order every day, beginning when the alarm clock first rings. Time Timer clocks can help your child understand this routine better, in a visual way.

3. Promote Your Child’s Independence

Your child’s independence is the key, as it will save you more time for other tasks. Breakfast is an opportunity to help arm your child with more independence, which is achievable by using adapted tools at the table. Breakfast not only gives your kids the strength to face the day, but it also adds a great step to your daily ritual that your child can count on and even look forward to. Try these five products, all designed to promote your child’s independence in the morning.

1. Safety toothbrush

Safety toothbrush - Special Needs Essentials

2. Timer Timer

Time Timer with handle - Special Needs Essentials

3. Recessed lid cup

4. Non-sleep reel

5. Pencil grips (to use with silverware or toothbrush!)

Handwriting… All kids can find this difficult to master but special needs kids have a greater chance to experience the tears of frustration at school or at home while trying to get their homework done. The reason for this varies: either the body is not well positioned, the child lacks attention or coordination, there is a medical condition, you name it. Thankfully, there are exciting ways to promote handwriting skills that will work with almost every child!

5 tips handwriting

1. Grasp, grasp, grasp

Handwriting starts with good positioning of the whole body and fingers on the writing tool. It may be too abstract for your child to follow your directions as you explain or show them, so think of those pencil grips or claws to physically guide their hand. Heavy pens are another affordable and efficient way to improve their grasp by building hand muscles strength.

jumbo grip 1 claw medium 1 TPG-651

2. Lower the pressure

32090_3Handwriting problems often come from a too strong pressure applied by the child to the pen. Use stress balls at any time to encourage your child to relax their hand muscles and promote fine motor skills.

3. Feel the vibes

__017877_A_previewThe Squiggle Wiggle is a very original pen that vibrates, creating colored squiggles as an interesting alternative to drawing. It encourages fine motor control and helps your child appreciate writing while staying creative.

4. Have fun!

Think of fun activities that involve writing or drawing such as: drawing around your hand, making an herbarium (simply run a color pencil on a paper to transfer leaves’ relief), or playing Pictionary with the whole family! They should improve your child’s handwriting skills without tears.

iStock_000013308707_Large Herbarium Pictionary

5. Play (yes, play!)

TPG-654 OpenLet kids play their favorite game on a phone or tablet with an adapted stylus. They look just like a pen and will train them as if it were the real thing… except they are playing!

If those simple tips are still not effective enough, don’t hesitate to ask the help of an Occupational Therapist who will have a better understanding of your child’s abilities.

Did you find new tips to try with your child in this article? If you have more tips, please share with other readers!

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