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Rett’s OT Eval and our handwriting journey

March 29, 2014

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Well it happened. After a year of trying to get the deeming waiver and another four months on a waiting list, Rett finally had his first OT eval.  All evals are scary but ones you’ve never had before are really scary.  I knew Rett was behind on his fine motor skills but I had really no idea where he was.  We have been working with him ourselves on self help skills like buttoning and I know its a longer process than average but he has always been progressing on his own time line so I was never all that worried about it.  ABA helped with the attention and distraction aspect of things and Rett can do a lot of things that I think are pretty impressive.

 

OT (occupational therapy) is a combination of sensory and fine motor therapy.  Except you can’t measure sensory and you have to qualify for more therapy based on scores so the eval was pretty much 100% fine motor and then I had a survey and we also just talked about Rett’s sensory profile and what we see at home.

 

The results are a little confusing. I basically have two different subheadings: Grasping and visual-motor integration. He was given the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales that provides information in both fine and gross motor.  For grasping, they are looking for a tri-pod pencil grasp.  Right now he’s 63 months old and he scored at 46 months. Which considering we have never worked on this, didn’t concern me all that much.  Instead of a tripod, he has a tripod with two fingers together or he has a four finger grip. I think practice and getting to know how to explain to him how to hold his pencil will correct this pretty fast.  His visual-motor integration he was at 53 months and considered average.

 

A lot of what she tested him on (like copying block formations) were skills he had learned in ABA. I definitely saw where his test scores were dramatically increased because of a few specific skills ABA had added in for him.

 

Most of our goals are what I would consider to be early school skills such as correct grasp, scissor control and writing.  And since he doesn’t start kinder learning until next year, I don’t think we’re doing all that bad.

 

We had our first therapy session yesterday and learned that our original therapist is leaving and we’ll be getting a new person, which we’ve only had a few sessions so I don’t think that really matters.  It was pretty much 100% sensory based activities to show me things to do at home.  In all my spare time.   The sensory aspect of things I sort of understand but there are also large gaps where I’m hoping a therapist can help me judge what help and what doesn’t. My goal is to learn things we can do to improve concentration and calm during learning time.  We’ll see how that goes.

 

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We’ve started our at home writing program. I decided to give the Kumon books a try since I had heard such great things about them and kept feeling drawn back to them. I’m so glad I did! Rett and Evie are doing the My First Book of Mazes and the My First Book of Tracing. When I taught first grade, kids came to me knowing how to hold a pencil and make all their basic alphabet letters, I just worked to improve correct letter formation.   This teaching them to hold their pencil right and moving in a direction of printing correctly without it turning into a chore or a fight is interesting.  It was hard for me to understand how mazes and the activities within the tracing book went along with handwriting. We have been doing the mazes for about two weeks. Last week Evie could not write her full name and this week she can.  They both work on pencil control, attention to how they move their pencil and working on horizontal vs vertical vs diagonal lines in a fun way where the child doesn’t realize they are learning.  If I forget our mazes, Rett is sure to remind me everyday. Also each theme is in a ‘place’ so you can talk about different settings and what you see there. Later on they do occupations.  It has quite a bit of material built into them.  After we complete these books, we’ll move into letter formation and I’m feeling a lot more confident that they will have a strong foundation to build from.

 

We have almost the entire series of what’s on level for them but I’m just adding a little at a time.  So next we’re adding My First Book of Cutting.  And we’ll see what else. I’m hoping that through these books this summer, both kids will be ready to start kinder learning in the fall.

 

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How’d he get so big.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Nicole mclain permalink
    March 29, 2014 11:34 am

    Aiden loves OT! He is right with Rhett on the fine motor skills….. He is 57 months and scored 47 mnths in fine writing…..visual, I have no idea what he scored.
    I am trying out the writing books you recommended….. Wevtried handwriting without tears this year and let’s just say there WERE tears! 😉

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