An Insider’s Perspective – The Connecting OT Writing Practice Sheet
It has been a very exciting time for us at Connecting OT as we have developed the Connecting OT Writing Practice sheet. We wanted to share a little bit about the journey we have gone through to get to this point and what led us to developing the practice sheet in the first place. As an occupational therapist working in paediatrics for the last 10 years it has been an exciting time to see how children work to develop skill sets that they need whilst also being aware and continually monitoring and evaluating the effect that that has on their self esteem and confidence. As paediatric occupational therapists we see that by helping children to take control of even a minor skill that they might be having difficulty with not only gives them the abilities that they need within the school setting but also makes a massive difference in terms of the way they set about their days and feel that they can change and make a difference in struggles that they might be having in everyday life.
The Connecting OT writing practice sheet is a series of exercises that works on the different muscle groups that are an integral part of the writing process. We tell the children that like any other sport if they don't use these muscles on a regular basis they won’t be able to have the endurance, precision and control that is needed to make writing an automated process. We often get parents questioning whilst a child’s writing might have been good and then it slipped back down in standard perhaps in the next year or the next grade. This can be attributed to the fact that if the writing process isn’t automated enough it means that extra energy is going to need to go into that basic writing process and therefore their mind, no matter how smart they are, isn’t available to be able to be working on the ideas, planning, executive functions and creativity that is needed as they move through the years and develop their writing skills. Therefore our back to basics approach is about identifying the key muscle groups through the body and hands, what controls as a basis of support, what provides the small minute movements that are needed to sit with good posture, isolate through the arms, use the pencil grip appropriately, have a good pencil grip and therefore make the writing process effortless and more enjoyable. As a result you will see the process that we have developed in the writing process system and how this covers those key areas.
It has made us so proud to see the children that have worked as part of school handwriting challenges, followed on from practice that they are doing in OT sessions at school or maybe even taken it upon themselves to do their own school handwriting challenge with the writing practice sheet. We have received numerous emails and phone calls from excited families of children who have received school certificates, principals awards and just their own gratification that they have taken something under their control and made a change and therefore made a difference not only in their writing goals, but also within the head space that they sit. We know that a child’s head space is the most precious and dearly regarded facet of life, so if we can make a small difference in terms of how they see themselves and how they go out into this world then that is a good goal to have completed.
Therefore we challenge you to go on our website and have a look at the range of options that we have available, whether it is an individual rainbow set or a class set. We challenge you to provide an outlet of support to create a pathway so that your child does have an opportunity to make a difference. Practice every day for two weeks with the Connecting OT Writing Practice Sheet and you will see a difference, not only in your child’s writing, but in their confidence and the way they go about life. Following up from this process please do come back to us and share the stories, as so many others have already, as this is what makes it all worthwhile for us as the Connecting OT team.
Director Connecting OT