Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tracing & Scribbling

For autistic children like my son Arif, occupational therapy (OT) is important, as it helps them with sensory integration and to overcome certain deficits (read more here). So in addition to having him work with occupational and speech therapists, I also conduct therapeutic activities at home to supplement his therapy.

I also like to think of these sessions as an introduction to homeschooling, so that Arif gets used to the idea of learning at home. One of the activities we like to do is pre-writing skills and improving his pencil grasp. 

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As you can see above, Arif has what's called the cylindrical or fisted grasp. To help him with his prewriting activities, I printed a few tracing pages and laminated them so that they could be used again and again. Arif uses a dry erase pen (whiteboard marker) to trace the lines. Most of the time, he just scribbles all over the place, so to help him trace, I need to guide his hand.

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Sometimes, he does what's called the palmar or digital grasp, as you can see above. It's interesting to see him scribbling all over a particular character on the worksheet. I wonder what's going through his mind when he does this!

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And sometimes, he does both the fisted and palmar grasps at the same time! At present, he likes using both hands to draw or write, but his right hand seems to be the more dominant.

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He holds the eraser quite well, holding the paper beneath to stop it from moving. He likes cleaning up after he's made a mess :)

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And after some time, when the paper isn't exciting enough... he'll indulge in some body art! Messes are okay and perfectly welcomed in this house, because it's another sensory activity for Arif.

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In case you're wondering, I also give him pencils and colour markers with regular unlaminated paper, so that he can experience the different textures and pressures needed. 

Though he's doing a lot of scribbling, which seems meaningless, it's actually good practice for holding a writing instrument. Watch this short video on the importance of scribbling:


If you'd like to print out some free activity worksheets, like the ones I'm using here, feel free to visit my Pinterest board: Tracing, Colouring & Cutting Worksheets. Happy scribbling everybody!

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