Pre Writing Skills – Holding, Sitting & Shapes
What are pre writing skills?
These skills are basic skills which are needed to be ready to write.
These included holding a pencil, sitting up, making strokes on paper, coloring making shapes.
Why it’s important?
Pre-writing skills are crucial for the child to be able to develop the capability to hold and move a pencil smoothly and effectively and therefore produce legible writing.
When these skills are poorly developed it can lead to frustration and avoidance due to poor handwriting or keeping up with the pace of other kids in class, therefore affecting self-esteem and academic performance.
How can I tell my child has problem with pre-writing or writing skills?
If your child shows the following:
- Have an awkward pencil grasp.
- Have difficulty controlling a pencil for coloring, drawing or writing.
- Show a tendency to use their whole hand to manipulate objects rather than just a few fingers.
- Have poor endurance for pencil-based activities.
- Show poor dressing or eating skills
- Display messy and/or slow handwriting.
- Have difficulty staying within the lines when coloring.
- Apply inappropriate pressure to the paper for pencil-based activities (either too heavy and frequently breaks the pencil, or too light).
- Have poor upper limb strength (weak shoulders).
- Have difficulty coordinating both hands together for two handed tasks.
- Have poor hand-eye coordination.
- Be verbally skilled but has difficulty showing this on paper (i.e. writing, drawing or coloring).
What would therapy focus on with regards to pre writing skills?
Therapy will identify underlying causes and work on components needed to have writing skills.
A therapist may work on:
- Hand and finger strength: muscle power against gravity for controlled movement of the pencil.
- Crossing the mid-line: The ability to cross the imaginary line running from a person’s nose to pelvis that divides the body into left and right sides.
- Pencil grasp: The efficiency of how the pencil is held, allowing age appropriate pencil movement
- Hand eye coordination: The ability to process information received from the eyes to control, guide and direct the hands in the performance of a task such as handwriting
- Bilateral integration: Using two hands together with one hand leading (e.g. holding and moving the pencil with the dominant hand while other hand stabilizes)
- Upper body strength: The strength and stability provided by the shoulder and trunk to allow controlled hand movement
- Object manipulation: The ability to manipulate tools (including holding and moving pencils and scissors) and other daily things like door knobs, cutlery or buttoning.
- Visual perception: The ability to interpret and make sense of visual images seen by the eyes, such as letters and numbers.
- Hand dominance: The consistent use of one (usually the same) hand for task performance, which allows fine motor skills to develop.
Pre Writing Skills & Milestones By Age
Age Pre-writing skills
1 -2 years
Spontaneously scribbles in vertical/horizontal and/or circular direction
2 – 3 years
Imitates a horizontal line
Vertical line Imitation
Imitates a circle
3 – 4 years
Copies a horizontal line
Draw & Copy a vertical line
Copies a circle
Imitates / and / Imitates a square
4 -5 years
Copies + Traces a line
Copies a square
Copies a / and / Imitates X
Grasps pencil in writing position (with three fingers)
5 -6 years
Recognizes between a big and small line or curve
If you are a parent that has a child that would like to improve their writing skills and co ordination please contact us and come visit our state of the art facility.
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