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61/2 year old where he should be
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61/2 year old where he should be

6 1/2 year old has poor handwriting and is double jointed. He has trouble holding a pencil because his thumb is double jointed and still cannot tie his shoe.  He does not use correct grammer when he talks( he says "give me my hand" if he wants to help me up.)He can identify words and numbers but is not reading well and has trouble with math.  He likes to draw pictures of trains and tracks.  Because he is double jointed he is clumsy yet very active. He will sit still to watch a movie, draw, and play nintendo.  He does not like to do homework but he likes to go to school. Pediatrician says he is just a little immature and has catching up to do.  He did not go to Day care until he was three and this is his third year at the present school.  He is in first grade.  His teacher says he "wanders" sometimes but will do his work when she helps him. She says he sometimes repeats what some of the other students say.  He has no one to play with at home and sometimes will play "school" by himself and pretend he is the teacher and he corrects the students ( he pretends blocks or crayons are the students and refers to them by colors ).  Not sure what to think.  
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Avatar_m_tn
  First graders are just learning how to read and write and do math.  Your impression of him having problems with out any comparisons is probably not real accurate.  His teacher is the one who will be able to tell you.  It may take her a month or so to get to know him well enough to do so.  Teachers at this level have seen a lot of kids so should have a pretty good idea how he stands in relationship to others.  
  The fact that all she said is he wanders around, is a pretty good sign.  By the way, boys of this age (compared to girls) do tend to lack fine motor skills.
  So I would just wait for the quarterly report by the teacher. He sounds like a pretty normal 6 year old boy to me.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I have a different take on this.  Please google sensory integration disorder.  You make statements that describe my son to a T and he has sensory integration disorder.  

Fine motor control, clumsiness, speech issues such as you mention, and wandering are all signs of 'motor planning' issues.  Even a very mild issue can cause a child to struggle.  

Sensory integration disorder involves the nervous system and how the brain processes things.  Motor planning is a major organizational piece to functioning.  A brain that is disorganized will cause a child to wander a room and not settle into any activity.  For speech-------- our nervous system not only has to get the message to the oral motor muscles in the mouth to articulate the words, but it must first organize the thought you want to say.  Fine motor issues are tricky for many kids but for a child with motor planning issues------ it can be very hard and frustrating.  I'd imagine that your son also has trouble with any new fine motor task and other things like using scissors or tongs.  Gross motor issues may be due to the double jointed issue but also could be part of this motor planning.  

The first signs my son showed of sensory were speech issues and tripping a lot.  The next thing I heard was he wandered the room and had difficulty with fine motor activities.  

An occupational therapist evaluates for sensory integration and then treats for it.  They do amazing thing.  No medication will work--------- everything is handled through this "play therapy" for the nervous system as well as skills taught directly to the child.  

One thing I do for motor planning is give my son a thick piece of chewing gum on the way to catch the bus every morning.  That chomping down on something thick and chewing is oral stimulation that organizes the brain.  Sounds wacky------- but I swear by it.  Drinking thick liquids through a straw helps as well such as a thick smoothie, milkshake, or even applesauce.  Another thing that is recommended for motor planning is something they call "heavy work".  You can find a zillion examples on the internet (or ask me----- we work on this all the time) and you'll find such things as animal walks such as crab walk or bear walk.  Also carrying a heavy bag of books for you as a "favor" (my son does it every day before school), do the wheelbarrow walk (also very good for handwriting and the core muscles needed to do this), wall push ups, regular push ups, pushing a laundry basket with weighted items in it across the floor, doing the monkey bars, climbing a tree, etc.  Swimming is fantastic for the nervous system.  

The Handwriting without Tears program is really excellent for writing.  You can find the materials and work books at any teacher's store, on line or on ebay.  I'd suggest using a short pencil like a golf pencil and a grip.  Also work on muscles for writing by doing play doh, silly putty.  Tape some paper up on a wall and have him color standing up.  Have him erase a dry erase board.  All work core muscles needed for hand writing.

My son is the exact same age as yours.  I know what is expected in first grade and if he has trouble in the areas you mention, he'll get more and more frustrated.  You need to help him along to keep his self esteem high.  

So google sensory integration disorder and motor planning and see what you think.  I have a lot of ideas on how to help if you think it applies at all.  good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comments and I appreciate you taking the time to give me some insight. I worry alot and you took some of the worry away.
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Avatar_f_tn
You shared a lot of information and I thank you for it.  I will google the sesory intergration disorder.  Thank you also for taking the time to share information with me.  He does have trouble using scissors and I attributed that to his double jointed thumbs.  Thanks again.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would ask for more help for him and a lot of kids have trouble holding a pencil correctly, my son used to and had to get help for it. Also, he is having trouble with reading and he is a reading class that meets twice a week for extra help by a literacy specialist.  

Maybe you could see if the school OT could look in on him and work with him on the double jointed issues.

My son has sensory issues as well and he was speech delayed and I think that contributes to more difficulty in reading and I also think it makes the handwriting harder too.  A lot of boys struggle with handwriting.   I would work with him at home when you can, but I wouldn't go overboard with it, it might turn him against reading.

Stay in touch w/the teacher and see what she thinks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for sharing.  Teacher works with him a lot and the school has tutoring programs and he is in reading and math.  Pediatrician said what you said about OT.  Said to give him a little more time to develop muscle tone.  Double joints run in the family on his dads side.  Thanks again.
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