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Five yo handwriting

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This is my first time having a younger child who wants to and can write and I am just not sure if how she does it is normal! My dd turned five in Jan and she loves to spell cvc words. The thing is no one can tell that she is actually writing words because her letters look more like hieroglyphs. They are sideways, upside down, backwards and maybe even inside out!


I just would like to know if I should be concerned. Big brother is dyslexic and she does have similar difficulties hearing sounds, but she can rhyme and tell me the beginning and ending sounds of simple words as well as spell very well (cvc only) so I am just wanting to hear that hieroglyphs are normal at age five...please tell me they are!


Oh, in case it helps to know more about her, her fine motor skills are a bit delayed. She is just now confident with cutting and still can't color at all neatly or draw anything recognizable. (Everything she draws kind of looks like an octopus.) She was also a late walker and talker and used sign language for over a year before starting to talk much.

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I understand your concerns.  Your DD sounds normal; however, you can opt to take a more deliberate approach with your DD if that makes you feel better.  Maybe, continue to color with her and perform wheelbarrow walks with her to strengthen her arms, hands, and torso.  HWT sells a Wet-Dry-Try app for the IPAD that is useful for teaching letter formation.  Have her eyes checked.  We learned my 5 yo DD has a moderate astigmatism and is far sighted.  Overall, work with her gently, try not to freak out, and give her time.  If you don't see improvement by the end of next school year, consider an OT eval.


My DD complained constantly about hand pain this year.  She turned 6 after Christmas and took a 4 hour kindie class on Fridays.  DD started missing play time because she wasn't completing handwriting sheets in a timely manner.  Typing that last sentence irritates me.  Anyhoo. I took my DD to an OT evaluation in March, and her hand and core strength were weak plus she exhibited motor planning issues.  Specific exercises 5 times per week seem to have helped.  DD will now copy a sentence with some complaining but it is legible. 

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What I would ask, is if she is rather drawing words?


Where she may not have learned a pattern of movement, to form each letter?

Perhaps you could try printing the alphabet, and as you print each letter?

Observe the starting point, and the flow of direction through to the end point.


Then compare how you do it, to how she does it?

Where she may not have established an automatic starting point, and flow of direction for each letter?


Though a simple but effective exercise for fine motor control?

Just involves touching the thumb to finger-tip. 

Going from finger to finger.

Where she might just skip across the fingers to start with?

Where the aim is to lower and raise each finger.

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Get an OT eval.


Sorry, I'm not meaning to be cryptic.  You already know she has motor control delays and some issues.  You could buy into some marvelous bubble on waiting and it all happening, but that totally misses the point that you can DO something about it.  You can't find out what's going on without an OT eval, so just get the eval.  


OT is FUN.  She'll like it, and you'll learn a ton and get the answers to your questions.  There could be other stuff going on, and you'd rather find out now than later.

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I'll have to look into OT and our insurance coverage. We did have a "consultant" provided by the state of Texas who came over weekly for awhile when she was about 2. It wasn't a bad experience, but not really helpful and the consultant finally told me I was already doing everything she could think of and asked me if she needed to keep coming! Thinking about it now, I am sure a private OT would not be at all the same. And having some exercises to help would be good. I am sure my dd would love to go. I just need to find out how to go about it.


Geodob-I am pretty sure she knows how to form the letters. She spent lots of time tracing them with her index finger in our Montessori letters book. And she has been fascinated by letters since she sat with her brother and I when I was teaching him how to read. So, she has had lots of practice with writing letters in the sand tray and with sidewalk chalk, etc.


Heathermomster- the wheelbarrow idea is great, and she loves that kind of thing. I have been thinking of that ap, but she has already done a lot of letter writing ap work, so I haven't bought it yet.

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