Tummy Time & Handwriting
[image url=”https://thebridginginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/200909-baby.jpg” alignment=”left” margin_left=”0″ margin_right=”10″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”10″ width=”200″ height=”150″]Often, we don’t think about how much work is involved in handwriting. However, handwriting is more than grasping an object and scribbling. Although a baby’s ability to grasp establishes a developmental foundation for the handwriting skill, the ability to write requires simultaneous movement and work from the fingers, wrist, elbow and the shoulder.
First, once you have pen in hand and you begin writing, the wrist rotates and continues to rotate while the hands moves across the page. Second, the elbow flexes and extends as hand moves across and down the page. Lastly, the shoulder, in sync with the first two movements, must stabilize to allow the upper arm to rotate independent of the shoulder. The bicep must suspend the forearm so the hand is able to freely move; if the forearm was bearing weight, the fast and agile movements in writing would not be possible.
We found that the stability for each of these pieces develops in an infant through weight- bearing on the wrist, forearm and shoulder. When a baby is on on his or her tummy, the act of pushing through the hand, forearm and elbow is essential to forming the stabilization and motor patterns used years later in handwriting. The Kinetic Bridging Method has enabled this stabilization to the wrist, elbow and shoulder in only a few sessions.
Using Kinetic Bridging we connect the essential stability patterns in both the dominant and non-dominant hands. Better function in the fingers improves letter formation. Stability patterns in the forearm allow the hand to rotate and shift position as the hand traverses the page. Next, comes restoration of elbow stability which allows the hand to be suspended making letter strokes effortless. The last piece is shoulder stability which allows for the smooth movement across the page and return to the side with a new line. Once we see how many individual patterns combine to enable writing it’s easy to understand why many children struggle. And to think early Tummy Time is responsible for naturally developing so much!