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How to improve the handwriting (both legibility & speed) for teens?

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by valar79, May 28, 2015.

  1. valar79

    valar79 New IL'ite

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    Hi,
    My son is having problem with handwriting. I've tried some methodologies at home & various hand writing programs to correct that.He uses 3 finger to hold the pen where as most of us uses 2 finger to hold & 3rd finger to support it.
    Is it advisable to change this habit? Also if we ask him to write fast, he start scribbling. Especially during exams, it's worst.
    Please suggest.....
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @shanvy is our fine motor skills expert. I hope she can help you with tips and suggestions. Btw, how old is your son?
     
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  3. kylie

    kylie Gold IL'ite

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    When my kids were 7-8 years old, i started them on the cursive writing practice books available in the market. However, today at 17 my daughter has beautiful handwriting while my son at 14 just about manages to write neatly. He has an awkward grip on the pen which i have not been able to change. When he holds the pen like we all do, then he is unable to write fast. So i have given up trying to change his grip or his style....he just about writes neatly without scratches and at decent speed and I am happy with that.

    love,
    kylie
     
  4. JustAnotherMom

    JustAnotherMom Platinum IL'ite

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  5. valar79

    valar79 New IL'ite

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    Thanks for responding. My son is 13yrs old now.
    Could you please provide me Shanvy's contact details? email/phone
    I'm residing in Chennai, India.
    I'm totally new to this blog.
    Could you please help me to reach out shanvy?
     
  6. valar79

    valar79 New IL'ite

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    Hi Kylie,
    I've put him in handwriting class last year. He was writing very neatly during that time.
    But after that I became worst as usual. Then I noticed that when we ask him to write fast he started scribbling. The way he hold the pen is not like everyone. But in exams he has to write fast enough to complete it on time. That was my big concern.
     
  7. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    @Valar79,

    I am sorry for the late reply. been mia from here for sometime. at 13 it is very difficult to change the way your son writes but yes you can help him by looking closely while buying pens that give him. because you will not be helping much by trying to change the way he holds his pen or pencil unless he wants to do it.

    look at how he holds the pen, does it look like he is straining and has a tight grip. is there any hard calluses on his finger (My daughter gets them after writing continuously 3 hours exams for a couple of days..her hold is tight..though no issues with handwriting..) and this is called repetitive stress injury (RSI) to the fingers, while it can happen with even simple things as too much keying on the mobiles..

    but i have faced and face problems with my son's writing, that is not related to his holding the pen though. it is more towards the size of lettering, the legibility as he has issues with writing as such, dysgraphia is the word for it, if you are looking for a term.

    now the common angle that a pen is held or pencil is held by a child is the tripod grasp that description you mentioned above. holding the pen/pencil with both the thumb and forefinger and supporting it with the index finger..and this is the best postition too. sometimes children move away from this either as a result of comfort as kids or were not steered away from that.

    what can you do now :

    Talk to him about how he feels while writing. is he able to write at the same speed as he thinks, or does he miss something. (I think most probably the disparity in the thoughts and the motor skill could bring in this legibility issues many a time)

    does he like his handwriting. or does he feel he is being forced to do something difficult, that is writing neat and fast.

    now you can discuss with him, about how what he writes should be easily understood by a stranger. talk to him about writing exams that will be corrected by teachers or people who do not know him, nor his handwriting to understand what he has written. this helped a little with my son. still there are days when i stand on neutral grounds and find the zero and 6 look so similar..:drowning.

    get a timer. ask him to solve a exercises at a given time. and see how he can work on the neatness and presentation. believe me, it is a long roads with a lot of frustation, but you need to work on it so that by the time he gives his board exams he will have an idea of doing it better.

    and you can check out there are ways of helping him. you can see if a ergonomic pen will help. a grip, soft one to ease the strain.


    Ergonomic Pens and Pencils

    At 13 i would talk to him about the advantages of writing neat and trying to work a semblance in working out long question papers to answer all questions instead of going on and on about not having a great handwriting.

    give him the choice and responsiblity of working out a way. ask him to think and tell him you support him and would like to help him with this.

    all the best..


    P.S. a simple thing as writing can be a very traumatic experience for some. and they are not alone..look at all the help the writing industry gives them.so relax and let him get a grip...
    Writing Tools
     
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  8. valar79

    valar79 New IL'ite

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    Thanks a lot Shanvy.
    I'll try my level best.
    The worst thing is he will say OK when i explain about the board exam.
    But after a while when we sit for handwriting practise, he'll refuse to write.
    Basically he doesn't show interest towards it.Then sometimes he started writing in printed form and he himself says that it's good than comparing with cursive writing.
    But his printed form looks as it's KG kid's handwriting.Even his cursive handwriting is like that.
    if he writes single page, he starts complaining that he is having pain in hands.Couldn't able to guess whether it's real pain or drama.
    he is having good knowledge.But when he writes the answer in the paper then only he will get marks .He is very reluctant in doing that.
    I took him to occupational therapist couple of weeks back.
    They told they'll give some exercises & then handwriting practise.
    Is that really worthy?
    They said they'll charge 500 per session.We need atleast 10 sessions.
    Is that really worthy? or can i take him for counselling?
     
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  9. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    If printed form looks like KG kid's handwriting, is it a big deal? As long as it is legible, that is OK, no?

    Rather than writing one page of text, it helps to write one sentence multiple times. The sentence being 1 or 1.5 lines long. That will reinforce the writing of those letters and words. Vary the sentences written each time. Let him choose the sentences.

    If you think about it, it makes sense. When learning multiplication table, the child has to learn individual tables (2's table, 3's table...) before he can answer random multiplication questions.

    If you can afford it, go for it. They might have only one or two useful suggestions, but you'll get the peace of mind that you tried it.
     
  10. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    I know @valar79, I am at the same place right now, and add to that the papers are becoming lengthier and tougher to crack which is not helping the cause.

    I strongly believe it is something to do with his hand grip.

    when it is frustating to deliver even when you try a 100 times, it definitely leads to losing interest in kids. and more so in a teen and a boy. it is something do with that phase, it also leads to wavering confidence. so stop pointing it to him if he is already under pressure.

    .
    writing in printed, and to bring a beautiful one at that, he must be straining his already difficult grip. can he maintain speed in printed, and what happens to legibility with the printed?? if he can maintain speed, just have a talk with his teacher. i think it is ok to write in printed..i do not think cursive is mandatory.

    i strongly object to this thought process. let us give the kid benefit of doubt. he could be in real pain. printed is hard on the hands if you get used to writing in cursive even if it is not legible.

    that is because he has issues with writing.

    I think you should do it. but what is their evaluation about his hand grip and writing, and the speed. did they give you their observation.

    yes OT is costly, and requires lot of patience than a regular hand writing class. it is a one on one case . so if the ot feels it is only handwriting.
    did the evaluation happen without your input or insisting it was handwriting. we really need to know what is his issues.
    how-can-occupational-therapy-help
     

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