March is Cerebral Palsy awareness month. I have seen parents on many social media platforms raise concern about how Cerebral Palsy can affect their children’s handwriting. To help raise awareness, here is three tips to help improve your little one’s handwriting:
- Pick a teaching curriculum that is easy to follow and easy to teach. When I was going through Physical and Occupational Therapy, I was taught two different methods of handwriting. One was taught through the school system and one was taught at the local military base where I lived in Texas at the time. Because I was already used to the one from the school system, the other method I learned at the military base confused me. As a result, I ended up using the HandWriting WithOut Tears method from my Occupational Therapist at my local school. That method was easy for me to learn.
2. Strengthening hand muscles! I loved this activity when I was a child. Because having strong muscles is a key in improving handwriting, they used this play activity to help improve my muscle strength in my hands. I had to do other activities such as stretching a rubber band and playing with jumping plastic frogs. I found that these activities were some of my favorites. Even though my Physical and Occupational Therapy stopped when I was around 14, They told to continue to keep my hand muscles tight by working with either TherapyPuddy Or Playdoh 😊
3. Stay positive and practice. This is the most important piece of advice that I can give. When I entered the sixth grade, my Occupational Therapist and my mother decided to stop teaching me to write in cursive. Their reason was because my handwriting did not improve like they hoped. I was only taught, in cursive, how to write my signature.
My printing is much better than cursive. After that year, I worked on Typing. I have found reports stating that the Therapist was doubtful that I would ever be a good typist. During my senior year of high school, I started having problems taking notes. I experienced hand cramps and a lot of pain. To combat this, they gave a small keyboard to take notes. This enabled me to type the notes I needed. At my last typing test, I typed 97 words per minute. Not too bad for someone who was told that they would never be able to type. As far as the cursive goes, I pushed myself with that too. With the help of my low vision teacher, and a positive attitude, I was able to learn all my letter and my handwriting has improved. Don’t give up on your child. Keep positive and you will see some amazing results.
Nothing in this post is sponsored in any way. This post is based off my own childhood memories and experiences. If you are concerned about your child’s handwriting or health, please speak with the proper medical professionals.