A year ago, my son was diagnosed with SPD. It’s been rough but oh so helpful to know what we’re fighting against. As we’ve practiced activities to help with balance and calm him with heavy work, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in meltdowns over sensory stimulation. But as the dust settles, we’re slowly learning about secondary struggles Loopy now faces. Because of decreased body awareness, his pencil grasp is rather primitive.
Loopy struggles to manipulate his fingers the way he wants to. It’s especially difficult if he can’t SEE his fingers. He has tried to hold markers and crayons in a dizzying number of ways. He’s quite creative! 🙂 Teaching him to keep his three smallest fingers curled in towards his palm has been especially difficult. He doesn’t seem to even know if he’s doing it correctly unless he looks at his own hand to confirm.
It was time to bust out an item EVERY household has…
THE LONE MISMATCHED SOCK
How is this supposed to help? Let me show ya.
Cut two holes in the toe area of the sock. One centered and one off to the side. (My son seems to be a lefty in case you were wondering).
Then slip the stinky thing over your child’s writing hand with the thumb and index finger sticking out.
Here’s the most ghetto, hobo gloves in action.
Not perfect, but much better. We obviously don’t use this tool all the time. But it’s helping train his muscle memory so that a proper pencil grasp becomes less of a struggle.
Aren’t you glad your mismatched socks finally have a purpose?!?!
Here’s another simple trick to help develop a better pencil grasp, even when you’ve misplaced ALL your socks!
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Love your sock idea:) I’m an OT by the way. Thanks for inspiring me:) I just may try this with my own daughter too, who is struggling with grasp. God bless!
I’m quite flattered you stopped by! Thanks for doing what you do for our kiddos! We’d love to have you share your expertise on our facebook community!
Hi Julie! Love the idea too! I am an OT as well 🙂 You can try having your son draw/write on a slant board while having the sock on his hand to further facilitate his grasp:) will try your idea with some kids at work. Thanks!
Thanks Antoinette! I often have him write on an easel, does that work like a slant board? Thanks for all you do as an OT! Keep swinging by!
Hi Julie! Yes, the easle is a great idea as well. The key is to get him drawing/writing on a verticle surface in order to facilitate a proper grasp and work on shoulder and hand strengthening and stability:) I also wanted to recommend that you put another hole in the sock so that the middle finger is able to hold the pencil/marker as well. That would facilitate the tripod grasp that you are aiming for :). I do love the idea of the thumb and index finger holes which you can use to strengthen and foster a pincer grasp. Thanks again for your great idea!
I thought one was supposed to hold a writing utensil with three fingers….
My understanding is that there are a couple correct ways. Regardless, this is significantly better than how he used to grab it with an inverted fist. This technique was approved by occupational therapists. We may graduate to a more sophisticated grasp, but for now, I’m thrilled to find anything that will help my struggling child.
Henny Kupferstein says
I give piano lessons to nonverbal and autistic students around the world. I have come up with hilarious ideas for organizing the fingers and motor planning. This post is great
What a wonderful job! I’d love for my son to learn! Keep up the good work!
This was a great idea, I can’t wait to try it!