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My son has CP and just started P1

ShortyShorty Member Posts: 6 Listener
edited September 2020 in Education and learning
Hi, looking for a wee bit of advice.  My son has CP and is right hemiplegic and just started Primary 1 (mainstream).  At the moment they are learning the letters of the alphabet and are asked to write these down.  My son doesn't have good fine motors skills and cannot write.  The teacher has asked him to the model the letter with playdough but he does not have the ability to do this either.

Has anyone got any tips on what we can do to help or any apps we could put onto his ipad to help getting round the writing issue?  He does know his letters although his speech is not greatest.

Thanks in advance.


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Replies

  • coletcolet Member Posts: 62 Courageous
    Hey 
    I have cp and can’t write either. 

    When I start mainstream school  I had computer to complete my school work on, but I had a specialist mouse and a keyboard with a guard on. Also I had programs to help me to complete my work.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,183 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'll tag a member of our admin team who will be able to help you further here. @Richard_Scope could you please help here? thank you in advance :)
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,488 Scope community team
    Thanks for tagging me @poppy123456 and hello @Shorty

    People with cerebral palsy often struggle with grasping small objects, and experience hand fatigue and pain when they use traditional writing utensils. Fortunately, there are many affordable tools that are easier to grasp, make writing more comfortable, and help the user to safely strengthen their hand muscles. Some examples include:

    • Pencil grips: Pencil grips are available in various shapes and colours from several vendors. The angle of the grip and finger guard ensures that the fingers are in the proper position to minimize hand fatigue.
    • NuMuv Grip Aid: An addition to any graspable area of an object such as silverware, writing utensils, toothbrushes, etc. that can give the user greater independence while doing everyday tasks.
    • Jumbo GRIP Triangular Pencils: A transition between grips and regular pencils, these are wider and have soft little dots to aid with grip. They are described as an “ideal companion for children’s first attempts at writing.”
    • Coban Wrap: Can easily be wrapped in layers around various utensils such as crayons, pens and pencils to provide extra grip.
    • Bip Grip: Pen & Pencil Grip: Plastic material, goes around pens and pencils to make them thicker and easier to grasp while preventing putting a strain on the hand muscles.
    • The Pencil Grip Writing CLAW for Pencils and Utensils: Universal design for righties and lefties with grip stretches to fit any utensils.
    • The Heavyweight Pen and The Heavyweight Pencil both provide stability while writing, and allow the user to relax their hand a bit without losing hold of the tool. The ones featured here also come with comfort grips.
    • Pencil Weight: This serves a similar purpose to heavyweight pens and pencils, but can be used on any writing tool. It could be particularly helpful for people who like to use a variety of writing tools (for example, a large set of coloured pencils) because it is more cost-effective than buying many heavyweight utensils. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other pencil grips and can be used on most colouring tools and writing instruments.

    Help With Typing

    Typing can also be a challenge for people with fine motor skill impairments because computer keys are small and can be difficult to press. BigKeys LX  keyboards are designed so that each key is larger and therefore easier to press. They also have an “assist mode” which is helpful for people who are unable to press more than one button at once.

    Help With Postural Stability

    Spending hours hunched over a desk to write can result in bad posture. This is especially true for people with cerebral palsy, who are prone to muscle tightening and postural issues. Moreover, difficulty maintaining postural stability can result in poor handwriting. There are a couple of items that can help create a better posture for writing:

    • Better Board Slant Board. It has a very light and collapsible plastic surface, which is great for classrooms and travelling. It lies at a 20-degree angle, with clamps for holding the paper.
    • Classroom Positioner Desk/Stander. This one is more of an investment. The height can be adjusted to allow for sitting or standing, with optional support while standing. The angle of the desktop can also be changed.

    Hands-Free Writing

    Some people with cerebral palsy have more severe difficulties with muscle control, and simple devices to improve grip, provide stability, or help with posture will not be of much use. However, there are forms of assistive technology that can allow them to write without using their hands. Here are two examples:

    • Write Outloud. Write: Outloud is a type of talk-to-text technology that can process spoken letter, words, sentences, and paragraphs. It can be used by people with severe physical disabilities, as well as visual and cognitive impairments that may make writing difficult. There are also voice commands that allow the user to avoid the use of a computer menu when doing things like inserting an image into a document or indenting a paragraph. The program reads aloud as the user writes, and allows for self-correction. It also includes a talking dictionary and other helpful features.
    • EyeComTec. EyeComTec devices allow people who are unable to speak clearly and lack motor control in other parts of their body to communicate solely through subtle eye movements and blinking. They have a keyboard that allows the user to select characters and complete lines of text. All of their technology is highly customizable.

    People with cerebral palsy have a wide variety of needs when it comes to writing. Some of these can be met with inexpensive devices that can make writing easier and more comfortable. Others may need to invest in forms of technology that, though expensive, can drastically change one’s quality of life. 

    There are also dexterity exercises that can help. Using our Hands Early Years

    I would also suggest talking to your local education authority about the reasonable adjustments that your son needs. This should lead to an equipment assessment from a paediatric occupational therapist.

    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Just wanted to jump on and say welcome to the community @Shorty. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • ShortyShorty Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Everyone

    Thank you for all the advice it is very much appreciated.  

    I have asked for a meeting with the school.

  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,488 Scope community team
    Hi @Shorty
    That's a great place to start. Keep us updated :smile:
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Shorty said:
    Hi Everyone

    Thank you for all the advice it is very much appreciated.  

    I have asked for a meeting with the school.

    That's great @shorty! I hope it goes okay. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
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