Need Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

This is where new posts begin. All questions or discussions about any of Heart of Dakota's curriculums start here. If you wish to share a one-time post about your family's experience with our curriculum, you may post under the specific curriculum title (found beneath this "Main Board" heading).
Post Reply
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:21 pm
Location: Cartersville, GA

Need Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

Post by mrsrandolph » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:33 pm

I am seeking advice about my son.

Will is turning 5 on Tuesday. He would not be able to begin Kindergarten (in public school) because of his late birthday.

He has mild language processing issues. In addition, he has a rare syndrome that causes some minor (and somewhat unknown) cognitive delays as well as some minor physical limitations.

He is very "book smart" in the areas of Science and History. He attends very well and can listen & pay attention without difficulty.

He does need a lot of visual information and a fair amount of repetition to learn new concepts.

His fine motor skills are somewhat delayed due to the syndrome he has. We have begun Math U See (alpha). He is "ready" to understand the concepts, but he cannot write his numbers. He is also very weak on forming letters.

However, he knows the numbers and can verbalize his answers to math questions even when he cannot write them. He can also build answers with manipulatives.

What would be your approach with him?

I waffle between ideas. On one hand, I think I need to wait on his instruction as he strengthens his fine motor skills.

On the other hand, I think if he is ready to understand & learn concepts that I can progress with teaching him & just allow him to verbalize his answers until he develops the fine motor skills he needs.

I would appreciate hearing you thoughts!

Shannon Randolph LOVING HOD & Running 4 Guides & DITHOR
Mommy to 4 Precious Blessings
Cassie (15- World Geography),
Will (14- Rev2Rev,
Ellie (12- Res2Ref), and
Jack (10- CTC)

Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:57 am

Quick reply

Post by stellar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:17 am

Can you do activites to strengthen his fine motor? Playdough ect. You could continue on and have him answer verbally or you can write the answers for him. He sounds like a sweet boy! :-)

Posts: 616
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 1:31 pm
Location: TX

Re: Need Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

Post by Mommamo » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:59 am

I agree with the previous post. I would work on his fine motor skills-playdough, writing in sand with his finger, painting, silly putty (you can even hide and object in a ball of silly putty or playdough and have him work to find it), puzzles, blocks, cutting, stickers. I wouldn't let the fine motor skills get in the way of what he's ready for intellectually. My DD (who is almost the same age as your ds, she turns 5 on the 22nd and wouldn't be in ps kinder either) isn't great at writing yet, her fine motor skills are somewhat behind her gross motor skills, possibly due to Sensory Processing Disorder, but I just have her do a little bit every day on her writing and we do a ton of the other activities I mentioned. Really, she has almost caught up, but writing still exhausts her. I'm homeschooling because I want to stay on her level, so I keep the lessons at her intelectual level and then I do a lot of the writing for her. But, LHFHG doesn't have a ton of writing in it, and we're doing RS Math instead of Singapore and in her level it's mostly about the manipulatives and there are very few worksheets anyway. Hope this helps some!
Momma to my 4 sweeties:
DD 14 - MTMM and DITHOR (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, took a couple years off, and now she's back!)
DS 11 and DD 9 - Preparing(completed 2 rounds of LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)

Posts: 10604
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Need Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

Post by my3sons » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:50 am

Fine motor skills (for boys especially :D ) often come along later - well after they've been growing in other areas. I agree that you shouldn't let that stop him from all of that great thinking he's already doing. :D He's pretty young really - at that age with my dc we start with marker boards and dry erase markers. The thick tipped bigger markers were easier for my kids. We each have a marker board and markers. He says the answer orally. I write it on my board with black (best on white since it's so striking). Then he copies it on his board. We just do one number answer at a time, and I write it BIG. If he can't copy it on his board, then I put dotted lines on his board for him to trace. We start with only a handful of these and then slowly increase over time. The idea is not to push so hard that frustration sets in. Eventually, we move to him just writing the answers on his own markerboard. Then we move to writing the answers a bit smaller and me possibly giving him a line to write the answer on. Finally, we move to paper. Those skills will come - just be patient and keep being encouraging! :D :D :D My 18 month ds just walked today on his own across the room - and we've worked on that half a year! Just keep after it - all things become easier with time!!! :D

In Christ,
Julie :)
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional
Sister to Carrie

Marty D
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:58 pm

Re: Need Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

Post by Marty D » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:50 pm

I know exactly where you are coming from on this. My oldest ds has fine motor skills issues. He is 8 now, has been through a year of occupational therapy, and still struggles with writing. We do a lot of the motor skill practice mentioned above, and will continue to, but I also let him do a lot of work orally. I am still trying to find what is best for him, but this week I have been doing his math on a white board. I write the problem and he writes the answer. We only do about 6 problems at a time, and that seems to not overwhelm him like a worksheet full does. I still make him work on his writing, but I try really hard not to over emphasize it. Slowly, I am seeing more times when he will actually pick up a pencil or crayon and draw. That is a great success for us, as he would not do that for a long time. My son, like yours, is ready to learn a lot more than he can write down on paper. He is super smart. I definitely recommend letting him learn at whatever rate he is able, and allowing his fine motor skills to catch up later. I think HOD is such a great fit for kids that have these kind of issues. I am finding that the best part for us is the flexibility....oh and the boards! :D

Mom to 3 boys --Nathanael 8, Daniel 5, and Karsten 2

Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Need Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

Post by GracieandTwinBoysMom » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:08 am

I was a first grade teacher for several years and encountered many children with this issue. Here are a few things I did. I allowed them to write their answers in rice or cornmeal. I wrote all their letters with elmers glue (they could then use their finger to trace over the dried glue) I found ABC flash cards in sandpaper. Allow for plenty of painting with those big paint brushes ( I think they sell them at staples) and try going to a sporting goods store and buy putty for athletes (I can't remember exactly what it's called but it's used to strengthen your hands) Just allow for plenty of opportunity to get messy and play with playdough, clay, moonsand. When I was really brave I would allow them to do handwriting in pudding or shaving cream. They LOVED that. But keeping moving along. If cognitivly he is understanding the information then don't let his fine motor skill issues hold him back. Just adapt things when necessary.

Oh yeah one other thing at the sporting goods store were those hand grips that have springs in it. I remember the OT teacher using those. Best of luck!!! How wonderfully blessed he is to have such a loving, caring mom!!! :D
Wife of 8 years to Matt-loving husband and provider
Mom to three miracles
Grace Elise- 4 -LHFHG
Anderson Michael-3 -LHTH
Connor Matthew-3- LHTH

Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:21 pm
Location: Cartersville, GA

Thanks! Advice for Son with fine Motor Issues

Post by mrsrandolph » Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:29 pm

I really appreciate all of the helpful feedback from you guys! I am armed with lots of good ideas for next week.! If anyone else has suggestions to share, please do so.
Shannon Randolph LOVING HOD & Running 4 Guides & DITHOR
Mommy to 4 Precious Blessings
Cassie (15- World Geography),
Will (14- Rev2Rev,
Ellie (12- Res2Ref), and
Jack (10- CTC)

Post Reply