Exerting too much pressure when writing…OT school ideas

I recently asked for ideas on working with a child who uses too much pressure while writing….I got a ton of great comments, most of which I have copy/pasted here…forgive me if I missed any. Most were anonymous, a few had just first names….go back to original posting if you want to see credit!
 Most said provide some proprioceptive feedback first and then either use a mechanical pencil and/or shelf liner, mousepad underside, or sand paper, for extra feedback as well. 
LOVED the comments. Thanks!!
Here they are: 
For increased pressure I like to use mechanical pencils or have the child write on the underside of a mousepad 🙂 Increasing joint awareness in their hands can also help them with proprio feedback – I get childrent to press their hands together for 5 seconds and then clasp their fingers and pull hands apart.
writing on sand paper can increase awareness to exerting too much pressure – because they will tear the paper if they push too hard. or maybe it’s just because they have a funky grip? one of my client’s pushes too hard because they use a grip with zero webspace or wrist extension. i used a pencil grip to promote tripod grasp and this decreased the amount of pressure they used to write. good luck!

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For the kid that is pressing too hard, have him try writing prone on a carpet or put a carpet tile on a table. If he presses too hard, the pen will go through the paper. Or, have him write a sentence, then show him the how the back of the paper is all raised up, then have him try to make it so that the back of the paper isn’t raised after he’s written a sentence. Hope that helps!
All great ideas… also have student write on felt. When s/he presses too hard they will punch through the paper.

You can also try sensory input prior to handwriting. Anything with joint compression, heavy work… chair pushups, yoga downward dogs, animal walks. Good luck!

A)   Another idea is to have the child use a mechanical pencil…if they push too hard the lead will break.

B) Writing a poem on the board with some words that are mispelled or out of order, see if they can correct as they copy.

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I’m a preschool teach, not an OT…working that way eventually.

Anywho, something I do with my kiddos is called crayon resist…a way you could make it easter-y (maybe next year!) would be to write on boiled eggs before you color them with white crayon or some type of wax, then dye the egg. The crayon/wax will resist the dye leaving lighter spots. I figure you have to write softly on eggs! Just an idea, hope it made sense!

also writing on tissue paper? or I’ll have kids draw with markers on coffee filters and use a squirt bottle to spray the paper, then let it dry and either cut it into something neat or turn it into a butterfly or flower with pipe cleaners. — both tissue paper/coffee filters rip super easy and the kid has to take their time.

Or drawing designs on aluminum foil with sharpie is pretty neat looking and you have to be gentle!

Like I said I’m not an OT just throwing some fun ideas from my experience with kids 🙂

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I would first work on preparing the hand to a writing activity. So, wheelbarrow walks, donkey kicks, wall push ups (all good weightbearing activities), theraputty activites.
I use a mechanical pencil, sand paper, tissue paper, writing while a Grip-It shelf liner (liner that is placed in drawers with small holes) is placed under the paper. This all gives feedback as to how pressure to exert.
I also wonder if a weighted pencil would also help?? Any thoughts?
Jul 18, 2011 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

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