Cerebral Palsy
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Tips on writing skills for son with cerebral palsy?

Louise80Louise80 Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited October 2018 in Cerebral Palsy
My son is 4 and has cerebral palsy.  He has just started primary 1 in a mainstream school. Any tips on writing skills? 


  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,579 Scope community team
    Hi @Louise80
    Great to meet you! 
    Without knowing your son's level of mobility I have found some websites that might help:
    How to help a child with CP to handwrite
    Handwriting and Cerebral Palsy
    I would be really happy to discuss this with you further.
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • WilliamWalkerWilliamWalker Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I have cerebral palsy. For me balancing while writing was difficult, so I should have got a chair in school which supported by core and helped my balance from my stomach rather than my legs and hips. I had a writing wedge, a strange pen and sticky material, but what I needed was a chair to take the pressure off my legs and hips. Also if your son has a cool less noticeable chair he will feel better, rather then have a bunch of noticeable things which don't actually help him. I was treated awfully at school by other children and teachers, I also missed my mother a lot too. So it was a sad time for me. I think homeschooling is much better for children in general and people with cerebral palsy especially. So to be honest with you I wouldn't send him to primary school with people who don't understand him or care about him, they don't understand what he is capable of, they just see a disabled child and think we can't do things or we aren't smart. It is sad, but that is how people viewed me. 
  • Louise80Louise80 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Matthew has a chair already. I am sorry you had such a bad experience at school. I hope this never happens to my son. He has been there a few weeks now and has settled really well thankfully. He has a good relationship with his peers and teachers. I hope things have changed for you now. 
  • WilliamWalkerWilliamWalker Member Posts: 9 Listener
    That is great. I am working on changing things for myself. Thank you. 

    I just discussed it without my mother and her experiences with me. I would also say make sure your son emotionally understands what is going on and what his disability is, and that is okay that he is disabled and if he struggles with certain things. When was at school I could intellectually understand what was happening, but emotionally I couldn't process it. Like I put my thumb in my split and trapped it, so my thumb started bleeding. Or I couldn't spell my own name and started crying or tying my own shoes laces. Things like that. Then when I moved out of reception, they put me in the lower class and I thought how am I going to learn as much as the people in the upper class. I couldn't emotionally understand it. So you need to be attentive with your son and keep an eye that people ask him how he wants to be treated and what he thinks he can do. Don't try and downplay his disability, but take an interest in it. 

    What sort of support are you getting in terms of stretching, emotional support for yourself and understand what his disability is and how it affects him? As my mother says nobody explained to her what was wrong with me and how it would affect me. Nobody taught my mother how to help me with stretching or exercises and she had no emotional support to help her either. Also if he is unable to ride a two wheel bike, get him a three wheel bike because that was cool when I was younger. 
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,579 Scope community team
    Hi @Louise80
    I'm going to tag my colleague @Jean_Scope into this discussion. Jean is an Occupational Therapist and Scope's Enabling Environments Specialist. 
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • ZeezeeZeezee Member Posts: 80 Pioneering
    Hi Louise80, My daughter started nursery part-time last year and she could already spell her own name whilst the other children where being taught to recognise the first letter of their names. Now a year on the children write their own names every morning when they arrive at school and my daughter cannot hold her pen properly in order to write. It's heartbreaking to see her frustration. Her Occupational therapist tried her with like an artist easel and she could write much better and could even draw a rainbow. I tilt her tables at home and she can control her pens/felt-tips etc much better. Her school are great and have ordered the special easel for her ( I will try to find out what it is called and get back to you). I am so glad your son has settled into school well, my daughter has a support worker, high-low chair and a lot of the support she needs for her to be happy and thrive in mainstream school. Sadly that is not always the case. But when you find a good school with understanding parents I believe a four year old with CP wants the same as every other four year old which is go to school/play/learn and have friends. If you find out any more tips please let me know and I will do the same. Vicky x
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering
    Here is a resource aimed at promoting fine motor skills and dexterity:
    Best Wishes

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • arichmondarichmond Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Hi @Louise80

    Really pleased your son is settling in well and enjoying school. The resources above looks really good. Having mild cerebral palsy myself, I found  practising helpful with fun activities like "writing" numbers and letters with my finger in sand to improve my fine motor control which helped with writing :smile: (albeit over 20 years ago now :smile:
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