Question: My child's handwriting is very messy. His letters are too close together and he leaves no spaces between his words. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Letters and words with poor spacing are a common problem seen with children's handwriting. Try these suggestions at home:
1. Attach a small pompom to a string (tell your child it looks like spaghetti with a meatball). Have him place the end of the string between letters of the word and place the pompom end between words.
2. Use a small empty bottle and have your child sprinkle "a little bit of nothing" between his words. Or they can get some "nothing" from their pockets and sprinkle it between words.
3. Have him place cheerios, or raisins between his words.
Question: My child reverses many of his letters. How can she correct this problem?
Answer: The Handwriting Helper uses the program "Handwriting with Tears". This program teaches letters in a certain order. For instance the letter 'd' and the letter 'b, letters that are often reversed, are taught at different times with 'd' being taught with the letters 'c', and 'g' and the letter 'b' being taught with the letters 'r' and 'p'. This technique is less confusing for the child and allows them to appreciate the difference between the letters. Call the Handwriting Helper for further evaluation.
Question: What is the correct way to hold a pencil?
Answer: The most common way to hold a pencil is called a "tri-pod grip" which is when the pencil is held by the thumb and the index finger and rests comfortably on the middle finger. Another common way to hold a pencil is when the thumb, index finger and middle finger and rests comfortably on the fourth finger hold the pencil. Pencil grasps do vary and should generally not be changed unless it causes the child problems (i.e. child tires quickly, child complains of pain in his or her hands). Hand strengthening can usually change a poor grasp. There are also many adaptive pencil grips that can assist. Please call the Handwriting Helper for further evaluation.