Sunday, 21 September 2008

A walk in the County Park

Today J and I went for a walk. We heard beautiful birdsong, we smelled lovely flowers, we tasted fruit growing wild and we fed the birds gathered on the lake.

We saw blackberries by the thousands and J indulged in a spot of foraging ...if only we had taken a container there could have been blackberry crumble for tea.

J fed the Ducks, Geese and Coots who welcomed the food eagerly.

J made sure they got every bit of food in the bag

Afterwards we walked around the peaceful garden by the shop and saw lovely flowers and bees. It was a beautiful day.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Palmer grip

J started back at school last week. He is now in Year 1 and having to adjust to the realisation that he can no longer wander freely around the classroom. His new teacher is extremely good and very focused - and well up to the challenge of J!
Lara's report has gone into the school along with an accompanying letter - I await a response to this.
In the meantime J is back in the classroom and to his hated topics - reading and writing.
Reading is too much like hard work I suspect so I am in the process of making up the phonic sounds to make words with and am hoping that the penny will drop with J once we've practiced a bit more.

Writing is more of an issue as J still uses a very immature palmer grip to hold a pen or pencil. This makes it hard for him to control the marks he makes on paper (although he recently drew very fetching designs all over my laptop bag)! To add to his difficulties he is also left handed and this creates an added challenge.

Most children develop a palmer grip within the first year of life and this is used to great effect when grabbing hold of things they should not. J's finest moment was grabbing the breasts of a waitress in a cafe and saying "boobies" - a moment we wished the floor would swallow both of us.

By the age of 4 though, most children have developed the ability to hold a pen with a tripod grip using the thumb and two forefingers. This gives a good level of control when making marks on a page and is the basis for developing good handwriting skills. J does not have this skill or at least it does not come naturally to him. Occasionally he will hold the pencil in a tripod grip with great pride saying "look, I am holding my pen the way my teacher showed me" - he gets great praise for this but quickly reverts to the palmer grip which is obviously easier and more comfortable for him.

I have recently bought some pencil grips to help him but Lara (the OT) says to wait until she has assessed J further because there are many different pencil grips and she has lots for him to try in order to see what best suits him.

So in the meantime I will continue to give J pens and paper and allow him to have fun with drawing and put no pressure on him to write if he does not want to. I tread a fine line between encouraging him and putting him off. The school are doing the same and giving J small handwriting tasks which do not make him feel useless compared with his peers