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Writing is Painful!

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My son is almost 10 and could use some help with his writing. He gets cramps, cries, moans, acts as if it is very painful for him to write.


I purchased a ton of curriculum from Dianne Craft's website and we are doing the Writing 8 exercise with him and it is like pulling teeth. He cries and moans when we do it and bargains with me to get out of it. I think somehow it really is painful for him. I am not sure what to do to help him.


Currently, he is enrolled in an Essentials CC class {I am tutoring} and we are using IEW writing. I act as a scribe whenever I can because the act of writing is so painful for him.


He just recently began typing lessons and I hope that something good comes from that.


He does form all his letters from the bottom up, instead of the top and he HATES writing in cursive and will balk at it any chance he gets.


I suspect that he is on the high functioning Autistic spectrum as well as his sister. He has the inappropriate outbursts, the sensory issues, the repetitive behaviors and special interests, etc. He has never been formally diagnosed as I don't know if that would help him or not. But the writing issue affects everything he does because he has to write answers down for everything and he hates to write.


Does anyone have any suggestions that I could use for him!! Thank you!

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One suggestion: try different pens.


My children find these mini fountain pens much more comfortable. The one who used to complain, stopped complaining about his hand hurting. The small size along with the ink-flow and drap really helped him him. http://www.jetpens.com/Pilot-Petit1-Mini-Fountain-Pens/ct/1200


Occupational therapy websites also offer a large variety of other writing instruments too, from built-in grips to weighted pens. http://www.therapro.com/Handwriting-Grips-and-Tools-C4245.aspx


Another suggestion: look towards developing the hand muscles through ways beyond writing. That won't take care of the problem immediately, but it should help in the long run.

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It's so funny that I just saw this post! I have been worried about my daughter - she hates writing, it hurts her hand, (she's 6 by the way), she puts capital and lower case letters randomly in words and forms her letters from the bottom. She also has spacing issues. I emailed a friend of mine who is an OT and she'll be going out to evaluate her and give us some suggestions.


Google dysgraphia. That might be something to look into. And, apparently for kids with dysgraphia, they can type without any problems and prefer it to writing, so it sounds like you are on the right track.




Good luck to you :)

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I'm sorry to whomp one more thing on you, but when a 10 yo's hand hurts when he writes, it's time to take him to the OT.


Boy, that's being opinionated. I guess someone else will come along and say you don't need to, it's normal to boys, blah blah. I'm just saying go get an OT eval. Make sure it's someone who has experience with spectrum and SPD as well. He could be low tone, need to work on hand-strength, or have other very specific things they could work on to help him not hurt when he writes. And once you know *why* he's hurting, you can find life activities that work those areas. It's not like he's going to be consigned to years of OT. But the eval, yes you want the eval. It's like those VT evals, liquid gold with the right person. ;)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Steph, have you read KarenAnne's comments about how she pursued horse grooming with her dd (also and aspie) and how THAT improved the hand fatigue? It's not like OT is the only way to get there. It's just that what you *learn* in the OT eval process shows you the issues so you can find acceptable ways to work on them. Besides, he may have other things the OT would help identify that it would improve your lives to know about (sensory integration, retained primitive reflexes, low tone, propensity to certain repetitive motion injuries, etc.).


If you're really averse, you could just start adding in things to work on core strength (which is where writing starts), shoulder strength, wrist strength, and finger strength. (Notice the progression.) Karen's horsegrooming hit all those, because she was standing, using her arms, moving up and down, then buckling little buckles. Yllek has told about her OT homework (also stuff you can do easily, things like wheelbarrows and whatnot) that were similar to what we were doing. So it's not like there's only one way to get there. I just wouldn't give up on the idea of him being able to write without pain.

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Elizabeth, that would be very interesting to look into!! I'll have to search online and see what I can find in our area for house grooming. I bet he would love it and so would my daughter. I know what you mean about how that would improve schoulder, wrist and finger strength. I used to ride horses so I see that. Hmmmm

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Our OT recommended these pencil grippers and have helped w/ pain/fatigue quite a bit as they encourage proper grasping.




Also, she suggested having him write on a slanted surface or even an art easel. I gave him a 2" binder and put his paperwork on that.



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