Oliver’s hypotonia and lax joints make holding a pencil a challenge. A real challenge. Despite hours of effort from amazing teachers, at home, and an OT his writing just wasn’t progressing. It worried me, because I hear so much about how early handwriting skills are so important. Written language pathways are developing for him right now and skills not learned by the age of 8 or 9 are almost impossible to acquire later in life. One of the first grade teachers in my boys’ school can’t start her letters from the top, so her handwriting is poor. She doesn’t have a motor deficit, it’s just no one made her do it correctly in her first few years at school. And normal motor skills couldn’t make up for the missed opportunity.
We tried a variety of grips with no help. Oliver just could not coordinate the tripod grip. Even chewing gum to distract him (and it does help BTW), his hand collapsed into a four fingered mess with no thumb to be found and his wrist flexed to a bizarre angle.
That is until we got THE CLAW!
It is a simple design (most function things are really). Three cups that hold the fingers in a tripod stance. With his fingers positioned correctly his wrist went from flexed to neutral (the correct position) and his whole body seemed to snap to attention. Within minutes his writing improved from illegible to semi-legible and the look of extreme concentration (that I can only assume came from the sheer energy drain of trying to hold his hand correctly) vanished. Oliver was thrilled and I was dancing around the living room.
He doesn’t mind having a writing aid at school. When he sees that something helps he’s all for it (one of the most useful lessons we taught him). He was so excited to show it to his teacher. And even better, excited to do his homework.
Every kid is different, but for us The Claw has worked wonders. If you want to check it out there is a link on the Preemie Products page.