I find that a lot of my patients with ADHD seem to also have problems with fine motor skills; this affects things like colouring in the lines, printing/writing neatly (heck, even just legibly!), doing buttons, zippers, laces, using scissors, etc.
This adds a huge amount of frustration to an already frustrating world.
OT (occupational therapy) is the right person to work with this, particularly once they are school age.
One thing that is kind of fun, and can help with learning to colour in the lines, or learning to print on the line is to use puffy paint. Puffy paint hardens when it dries.
You (and your child) can make your own puffy paint:
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
food colouring or tempra paint
Mix together, and put different colours into squeeze bottles
Painting with puffy paint is fun - squeezing it out of the bottles into lines, using sponges etc to make textured paintings, using fingers and hands to paint and get some fun sensory time, etc. It hardens when it dries, and is slightly sparkly due to the salt. If you have a child that likes to taste everything (except veggies!) this is a good non-toxic recipe.
While your child paints with some other colours of puffy paint, go over the lines on your child's colouring pages/printing pages with black or brown puffy paint, and let dry for 24 hours. Then, when they colour outside the lines, there is a "speed bump" for them to remind them to slow down and stay in the lines.
OR - you can choose what the daughter of a friend of mine did. She is 4 yrs old, cute as a button, frighteningly smart, and as ADHD as they come! (an interesting combination!). She has just started JK, and was doing a homework page with her Dad on the weekend. She was supposed to colour in the circles with a particular colour. She did that, then decided to colour around the circles, since it was her favourite colour. Her dad reminded her that the directions said to colour in the circles. She looked at him, and without missing a beat, said "but they don't say that I CAN'T colour outside the circles, do they?"
What do you say to that?
He just attached a post-it note to the homework page, detailing that discussion, and added "good luck" for the teacher!!
boy, does that sound like me ! (the fine motor deficit, not the creative coloring, tho i did spend a lot of energy trying to figure out how to work around the rules.)
Its called pushing the boundries to see what happens.
Just like you Margaret, I have patients with exactly the same difficulty of writing . A lot of people with VISUAL STRESS tend to write in capital letters as a coping strategy. the words are not necessarily on the line or equally spaced or sized or legible. the work i do with colour filters, which i have talked about before. when the right colour filter combination is found, the writing improves, is on the line neat equal sized and spaced.Its really interesting to see when that happens.
Hello all ~ I'm new here. I have a 12 year old, and his handwriting is not what I would like for it to be. He's out of the "coloring" stage, so that's out. He likes to help me with cooking, though, and I let him measure the ingredients. I think I will try the puff paint, though. He might like to make a shirt or something. Good idea.
My handwriting was a disaster. I never knew ADD/ADHD back then, but my writing did get a little better after the following incident>
My Grandpa saw my note book, called me and kissed me on the forehead and said, "What do you want to become when you grow up?"
" I want to be a doctor, Gpa"
"you have rightly chosen your profession. All Doctors have illegible (read dirty) hand writing"
At this point I was as happy as I could be.."But, if you keep writing like this in school, your grades will be too low, and you will never be able to reach med school."
It hit me hard... and i began to take his advice seriously. Spoke to my teachers on how to improve my handwriting, started spacing between words using my left little finger (pl see the attached picture), started writing each letter separately and later started joining them.
The most difficult part was to slow down my writing.
That's a very good idea. I will show him this picture, tell him your story and see if it makes an impact. Maybe then he will make more effort.
that is a lovely story. the key is that somehow you got strategies on how to improve. i didnt get any till i was over 65, but i affirm that it can make a difference and that slowing down makes a difference. i learned that i had to mentally write each letter rather than writing a whole word at a time, and that if i leaned the first line of my L to the right it would come out better.
thank you for the story.
That is a great tool, my son has used the "spacing finger" as well. Another tool I used with him for a while was notebook paper that has tactile lines that are raised just a bit. You can buy it through fine motor suppliers or online. Or use the puffy paint, much cheaper if you can get a fine enough tip. My kiddo passed the test for school fine motor but was still delayed enough that I took him for private therapy for two years. IT helped, he could of used more but I was traveling up to 92 miles one way twice a week and we just couldn't afford it anymore.