Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gettin' a grip

I'm ashamed to say that I rarely take the time to sit down and work at the table with Meredith. She doesn't have homework from school as yet, and it seems like the time after school and before bed is so jam-packed with activities and dinner and toy-related mediation. that we rarely sit down together to do pencil and paper activities. We spend some time several times a week practising piano together, but most of that doesn't involve the use of a pencil. It came as a bit of surprise to me then, a few weeks ago, to notice that she has changed her grip on the pencil from a traditional tripod grip, to a four-fingered or quadripod grip. When I tried to get her to hold the pencil in a tripod grip, she said her hand hurt, and quickly moved back to what was comfortable.
I'm an O.T. so I'm supposed to know something about this.
Sadly for her, my line of work involves contact with very few kindergarten-aged kids. If she was showing signs of dementia, or perhaps needed her risk for falls assessed, I'd be the O.T. for the job. Fortunately for her, I know other O.T.s who spend their day with the preschool set, and who were very helpful!

Enter the pencil grip.

Her favorite is this charming little orange number called "The Claw". Sounds much more sinister than it really is.

Second on the list is the traditional triangle grip.

Not featured in our little pencil grip photoshoot was a third style called a crossover grip that was altogether too big for her small hands, and has been relegated to the depths of the junk drawer.
I'm really amazed by how comfortable she finds the grips, and how eager she was to use them. Part of the appeal may be her recent desire to have a disability! We recently read a book called "You, Me and My OT" by Paulette Bourgeois. It's a very cute story about a grade-school girl named Emma who has an O.T. come to her classroom to work with her. After reading the book the first time, Meredith woke up the next morning and announced she "wished she had a disability, just like Emma." It's so fascinating to look at life through a child's eyes, and a constant challenge to figure out how best to respond!
In retrospect, the timing of the book and then introducing the pencil grips couldn't have been better. I'd be a liar-liar-pants-on-fire if I even pretended that I'd thought any of it through before it happened. I'll happily take the credit for how well it's going though.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! Lilah still grips with her whole hand. I have been trying to get her to start with the tripod grip but she goes back to the whole hand grip. I know they will learn in preschool if she doesn't get it yet but maybe i will try one of triangle grips. See what she does with it. I too don't sit that much with her to draw. I prefer the puzzles and games so drawing is usually what she does on her own.