View Full Version : Refusing to use one hand

02-25-2016, 10:45 AM
My son is in 3rd grade. Writing is hard for him and always has been. We've always worked on handwriting, and I insist he do most of his work related writing himself even if it's a struggle, but it's starting to be more than a "slow starter" kind of thing, and I don't want it to hold him back, because things he wants to do will require some written expression ability. Part of the issue is that he will not use his left hand to hold the paper still while he writes, so he's forming letters and controlling the paper with his right hand. Efforts to correct this are met with hysterics. I mean tears and screaming and fetal position on the floor, kind of hysterics. While I'm trying to push through this period and teach him about breaking bad habits, I've started to notice that he also tends to type one-handed, and when playing he's often holding his left hand close to his body. When he has the legos out he'll build with 2 hands, and he'll use 2 hands in other activities as well, so it's not an "inability" to use it. When I look back, I remember worrying about his left hand use when he was a toddler, too, but that was the only sign there might be something else going on.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this issue. I could probably switch tactics and have him learn to write using a clipboard on his lap or something, but I don't know if that is ultimately helpful or hurtful. I could keep pushing the issue and insist he learn to write using both hands, but he already hates writing so much that I'm worried that will just make everything worse. Any thoughts?

02-25-2016, 11:01 AM
Have you thought about maybe getting an occupational therapy consult? It might give a little insight into the situation. Your MD/FNP should be able to give you a recommendation.

02-25-2016, 11:32 AM
Have you thought about maybe getting an occupational therapy consult? It might give a little insight into the situation. Your MD/FNP should be able to give you a recommendation.

I've thought about it. My daughter has ASD, so we have therapists of various flavors in our contact list. I generally find that with the OT stuff I end up doing most of the work anyway, so I'm looking for ways of addressing it at home before adding another appointment to our week. I know that sounds bad, but I'm kind of burned out on therapy right now.

02-25-2016, 12:11 PM
Id second the OT evaluation, and go in and say you want to do a home-based therapy, so youre not toting another child to therapies two or three times a week. They see things, know strategies that wouldnt even occur to the rest of us.

It doesnt sound like its just a tiny inconvenience / imbalance. My older son wasnt fond of writing, but he wouldnt get to the point of hysterics about it.

03-06-2016, 01:59 PM
The secret to OT is finding the RIGHT one for your kid. We had one eval and they said mostly within normal limits. Fast forward a year, and issues are all over the place. New is perfect for my kid just the right mix of skills. She has helped in so many ways. She also helps determine what is realistic for my son and what is asking to much RIGHT now.

03-07-2016, 09:14 AM
By that age, I would expect that a kid would intuit that holding the paper would be better... so I also vote to get an OT evaluation. My guess is that you will end up doing most of the work, but that's okay - the right OT will tell you what the work *is*. I think the hardest thing with something like this is that you don't want it to be a battle of wills and then if it becomes one, it's hard to push forward if you're still not sure what the problem is in the first place. An OT takes that off your plate and can say, yes, this is a problem, yes, these are the steps you need to take to fix it. AND can say that to you and your ds, so that your ds hears from someone other than mom - an expert, in fact - that he needs to change something.