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Encouraging Letter Formation


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Hi,

 

Has anyone got any new ideas to encourage a 5 year old with learning disabilities to try hand writing?

 

He has a real lack of confidence when it comes to writing independently with a pencil. He's happy to write with his finger in the air, in a tray of sand or to try making letters on paper with a finger dipped in paint.

 

I have, just this week, got him progressed to trying to follow letters already written down, with a pencil, which was quite a break through, but I'm worried that after the Easter hols I may be starting again and it would be good to have some fresh ideas to encourage him with!

 

Oh, by the way, he's also left handed.

 

Thanks

Smartdog :o

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Hi Smartdog!

 

Some time ago I posted a list of ideas for markmaking in the Resource Bank which is definitely worth a look. Why note encourage markmaking in roleplay? Again there are lots of proformas in the Resource Bank eg shopping lists, police forms, menus etc. Markmaking in the tuffspot works brilliantly, with shaving foam, paint, cornflour etc. Children love making choices and exploring new equipment. What about a selection of funky pens or pencils - sparkly, fluffy, or football themed as an example?, coloured papers, cards, pads, notebooks etc to stimulate and tempt?

 

Admittedly my experience is pre-school but the needs of a 5 year old boy with special needs will probably be fairly similar to my 2 - 5 year olds. My question for you would first be, are you sure he is ready for actual writing or should you revisit the pre-writing skills?

 

Do you have the Penpals books? They are fab and provide lots of multisensory stimulus to encourage the pre-writing skills - a good example is the seaside soundtrack and the children have coloured pens to draw waves, seagulls, splashes, ripples etc. These carefully paced activities have really grasped my most reluctant boys and they love it. In the last term since we had the new Penpals book and cd they have really come on leaps and bounds.

 

You may have the added bonus of an interactive whiteboard as there is lots of Penpals stuff I can't access in my setting. If you haven't discovered Penpals a google search will soon take you there!

 

Good luck!

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Thanks for the help so far.

 

I'll have a look at the Penpals books.

 

I have used white boards with him and he really enjoys them, he's definately ready to form letters, he's starting to recognise them, but just seems to lack confidence with a pencil.

 

I want to try to build his self-esteem and I'm giving him a lot of enthusiastic encouragement. I should have mentioned he is hearing impaired and this is a big part of his problem, we're still trying to find out how able he is, whether its mainly the hearing or how deep his other problems go.

 

Please keep the suggestions coming, all are welcome.

 

Smartdog :o

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Has he got the physical development needed to write? Test to see if he can touch each finger to his thumb in turn, make large windmills forwards and backwards with arms outstretched and roll a hoop with some control. If not he needs more physical development before writing.

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