Fine Motor Skills and Low Muscle Tone



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Dr_Shakalu
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Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:07 pm

Hi everyone. I have a 5 year old son with PDD-NOS. He currently has ABA, OT, and PT. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas I can use at home to help his muscles and fine motor skills? He has trouble writing and coloring. Any help is appreciated, Ed.



Marcia
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Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:11 pm

Have the OT and PT not given you a plan to follow at home?



BTDT
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Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:47 pm

My observations of rehab for older adults may apply--maybe not? Most people don't practice enough. I personally find it best to practice several times a day, in short sessions so I don't get too tired. We are looking for skill, not endurance! But, this is rarely done. It is really hard to get better if the only practice occurs when the OT/PT shows up--who can afford enough sessions?



Dr_Shakalu
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Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:51 pm

His OT and PT therapists give us ideas but I was wondering if anyone else might have any additional information. Thanks, Ed



pgd
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Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:54 pm

Dr_Shakalu wrote:
Hi everyone. I have a 5 year old son with PDD-NOS. He currently has ABA, OT, and PT. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas I can use at home to help his muscles and fine motor skills? He has trouble writing and coloring. Any help is appreciated, Ed.


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About gross and fine motor control skills, low muscle tone

http://www.hemihelp.org.uk/
http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/



DW_a_mom
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Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:22 pm

My son has similar issues, mostly due to loose joints (hypomobility). I've heard of suggestions of things like squeeze balls and such and perhaps that can make a difference if started early enough and done regularly enough.

Despite 5 years of OT, my son has not really overcome his problems in this area, and is keyboarding instead of writing. So ... I don't really know what to tell you. In the world of computers it isn't as big an issue as it might have been, but it will affect all sorts of things you may not think about (being able to use handle breaks on a bike, fine woodwork hobbies, graphics on school reports, holding eating utensils properly ... so many things).

You might get different responses if you ask this on the parenting board, so maybe after a day or so I'll move the thread, if that is OK with you.


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MomsEyeView
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Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:12 am

My son has some gross and fine motor skills issues, but they seem very inconsistent. He can play the piano beautifully, but he has trouble opening jars and lids and tying his shoes. He can ride a bicycle and shoot hoops remarkably well, but he has trouble catching a ball and running. Is this typical? It strikes me as very odd...

I have discovered that he learns best by hands-on teaching: Actually moving his limbs/hands through the physical movement. He can't really translate the instructions that he hears and sees to his own body movements. By repeatedly taking him through the movements physically, his muscle memory seems to kick in...albeit slowly...

In any case, he hasn't had any OT or PT yet, because the school says he isn't 'bad enough'. I am looking into getting some therapy privately.


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Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:37 pm

Well, if your child has poor fine motor skills, then anything that they can do which uses fine motor skills will help. Prime examples would include legos, k'nex, play doh, modeling clay, drawing, etc.

But overall, I would caution you not to worry too much about it. So long as your child is capable of walking around and feeding himself, then you really don't need to worry that much about motor coordination. There is no reason that your child absolutely has to be well coordinated, and trying to force it is usually results in spending a lot of time and effort to accomplish little to nothing for very little benefit.

So, yeah, get him some coloring books, legos, or something like that and let him have some fun, but don't freak out about the fact that your child is uncoordinated and make a big deal out of it. That doesn't do anybody any good.


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BTDT
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Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:33 am

A gender neutral activity for kids is flying model rockets. It is a very safe hobby when supervised by adults in a club or groups setting. Most manufacturers have skill levels to assist in choosing the proper kit--there are ready to fly rockets and almost ready to fly versions for those who aren't up to skill level 1.

http://www.nar.org/
The National organization sets safety standards and can assist you in finding a local club.



momsparky
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Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:40 pm

MomsEyeView wrote:
My son has some gross and fine motor skills issues, but they seem very inconsistent. He can play the piano beautifully, but he has trouble opening jars and lids and tying his shoes. He can ride a bicycle and shoot hoops remarkably well, but he has trouble catching a ball and running. Is this typical? It strikes me as very odd...


Us, too - though I would say that my son is a late adopter for any physical skill, sometimes just being patient and waiting has worked for us. We had him assessed in first grade by the school's OT as he seemed significantly behind his peers - she said he would catch up on his own (recommended different pencil grips which he refused to use) and eventually he did. If your OT or school isn't worried, I'd say offer him opportunity to practice and see what happens.

I have found that in general my son needs to process the entire action in his head before he can go ahead with even the smallest step. Talking him through it helps sometimes.



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