Parents and guardians are encouraged to do their part. The therapeutic activities performed would help the child improve his developmental and academic skills (i.e. fine/gross motor, cognitive, social, language, behavior, self-help, reading and writing. However, challenges in the school are too big and complex that we should act and do the right approach. Here are the guidelines to maximize the output of your home activity whether it is writing or performing a task.
- Environment – Let him sit in an area with no TV set, Computer or Radio. The area must be organized with no visible materials to touch, attractive photos to see or loud noises caused by people or machines.
- Motivation – A positive reinforcer such as praises, activity play or tangible items must be utilized to increase the desire to complete task with quality output. However, if the child does not cooperate, utilize the response cost which is the removal of privilege (i.e. No toy or activity to play during this period.) The Premack Principle or Grandma’s Law can also be imposed such that “no play if you cannot finish your task.”
- Materials – The paper to use can be the standard one. But it may pose a stereotype to him. A white bond paper (reused or recyclable) can be utilized. Be sure to have a blue and red pentel pen. Put lines similar to the Grade 1 paper with blue-red-blue lines. Make the spaces big. The pencil as a writing material is good but a more fun way is to use colored pens to highlight it. Also, the material should be clear and visible. The parent must write it so that the child can only see the word that should be written. To avoid being overwhelmed by the writing task, the parent may opt to select the word and write in a sheet of paper.
- Review – Poor writing can be a product of poor teaching. Poor acquisition of this skill is not only from the child’s condition (i.e. poor fine motor control, perceptual and eye-hand coordination). It may also be brought about by lack of practice, lack of corrections and lack of exercises or drills. It is important to review the child’s present writing skills. Observe the strokes he used in writing the letters. Correct it if he used the incorrect way.
- Portfolio – Keep the child’s writing output. You may place it in a big clear folder. Put a red mark on the incorrect letter formation, wrong spelling, absent period/comma, letter reversals (b to d, p to q), letter inversal ( m to w, u to n, b to p)subtractions (right to rght), addition (June to Junes).
Author: Cayetano Polancos Jr, MA, PTRP, LPT
August 9, 2017