Fine Motor Skills and Handwriting

Fine motor coordination involves precise, controlled hand movements to perform tasks such as cutting and pasting, coloring within the lines, and writing. Children experiencing difficulty with these types of tasks can increase skill levels with individualized treatment.

Beyond the actual functioning of the muscles of the hand, many areas influence fine motor performance, including muscle tone, trunk stability, upper extremity strength, tactile discrimination, bilateral coordination, motor planning skill, visual motor control, visual perceptual skill, and attention. We analyze a child's fine motor activities to determine the underlying causes of problems and to identify strengths. We work on the challenging components of the task and use relative strengths to gain more skill. At times, we work on compensatory strategies to bypass the weak components altogether and obtain a successful, functional result.

Again, we keep it fun! We play with resistive putty and kaleidoscopes, perform finger plays, spin tops, and complete mazes. We may write on the wall, in shaving cream or over sandpaper. Or we may work on keyboarding skills. It all depends on the needs of the child.

Giant Leaps OT utilizes Handwriting Without Tears, a multi-sensory, developmentally based curriculum to help make handwriting an automatic skill. This strategy was chosen because of its adaptability with children of all ages. We use this program on a preschool level with Get Ready For School and continue to use strategies from this curriculum with teenagers as they prepare for the SAT.