Archive for the 'ADHD/ADD' Category

Handwriting Worksheets: Beware! #2

<When writing on unlined paper with his eyes closed, the second grade student's letters are 3/4 inch high.  The space on the worksheet is unlined and allows for 1/4 inch high letters.

Problem:  When a child writes letters with their eyes closed either for fun or for professional observation, the height of the letters produced can represent the “comfort level” of his finger movements.  If the height of the letters are 3/4 inch, this is more appropriate for a kindergarden student than for a second grade student.  As he must tighten down his fingers to place the letter in the worksheet’s smaller space, hand fatigue and decreased writing speed can result.

Solution: Copy the worksheet allowing for larger spaces or allow the writing on an extra page.  If ask to write on the back of the worksheet, two problems appear: 1. usually there are no lines on the back.  We all write better with lines. 2. Flipping the worksheet from front to back and then back to the front can be very distracting as well as taxing on the child’s memory as he attempts to remember the question and answer, flip the sheet and then write.

To help with improving the size of his writing, a program such as “Callirobics” ( may be helpful.  Also it would be important to look at his pencil grip which may be a cause (though not only) of the larger writing.

Teacher Tip for Those Needing to “Fiddle”

For those children who need to fiddle with something while they are listening, this tip may be just what they need.  Mrs. McNabb, a first grade teacher shared this hint with us:

Place a piece of adhesive backed velcro (both pieces: hook and loops) inside the desk.  Press on it to make it stick. This will allow the  student  to pull on it, rub it, and play with it without bothering any other student.

GREAT TIP!!!! Thanks! Do you have a tip you would like to share?

Writing and ADHD

As an occupational therapist,  I see many students who have attention issues.  I often describe their handwriting problems with the following words:

We expect a little body running at 100 miles an hour to sit down and be still in a chair: Really hard! Even if the body is looking still, the nervous system is still running on high and soon little twitches of movement occur and eyes began to roam the room.

Then we ask the hand to move at 15 miles an hour!  We now have a brain that is thinking faster than the hand can write; a body that wants to move but knows it must not;  and a hand that needs to slow down but yet keep up with the brain.

Result:  Lots of illegible writing with great thoughts OR little writing but legible!  Therefore, what should we expect or want to know? Do we want to know what is in the student’s head that he is trying to get down on paper though it may be illegible? Should we expect fewer thoughts and legible writing?  What are your thoughts?

Handwriting Questions

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R