Sunday, January 2, 2011


J is almost four years old and scribbles. For parents, it's worrisome when a child isn't able to draw even a face by the age of four. Especially when that child has a syndrome and her parents search for any little sign he/she could be delayed cognitively and how severe that delay will be. So I've been working with her and tracing with her. She doesn't seem to have good fine motor skills. Here is what the experts say about this milestone courtesy of Babycenter.

26 to 30 months
At about 29 or 30 months, your child moves from mere scribbles to true art; he's more interested in coloring and painting, and he starts adding colors and trying to represent real objects and things. A drawing may look to you like a solid mass of green ink, but ask him and he'll tell you it's a snake in the jungle. He may also start attempting to incorporate language into his drawings; look closely at a painting and you may see that the larger scribbles are figures, while the chicken scratches are attempts at letters or words. He may also start signing his pictures, though the letters won't look like any alphabet you recognize.

31 to 36 months
By the time he's 2 and a half, your child will be able to hold a thick pencil or crayon solidly in a writing position. According to Nina Lief, a child development expert and co-author of The First Three Years of Life, children this age are usually able to master the up-and-down movement required to make a "V," which is a little trickier and requires more dexterity than making a straight line. Between now and his third birthday your toddler will also start making circular strokes, and some will be able to write a few letters — or squiggles that look an awful lot like letters. A few will start writing their first name — or a few letters of it — around or just past their third birthday. Many don't, though, and that's okay. Don't feel pressured to push your child to learn to write; wait until he's really interested and excited about it. Writing is a developmental skill that does not have a formal timetable; your toddler can take his time and still be developmentally on track. Slow and steady may well win this race: A child who is just learning to write his letters in kindergarten may well have lovely penmanship by second grade.

Currently, coloring consists of J grabbing crayon after crayon scribbling as quickly as she can. She can go through a lot of paper! Then I got a call from my mom who had J over for her first sleepover. Apparently, J was drawing on a chalkboard and said it was Mulan. She pointed out eyes, a mouth and even eyebrows.  Exciting! True the drawing looked like a bunch of scribbles, but she was able to describe the features of a face and that's a big deal to us. Awaiting the day when we can fine tune those motor skills to enable to her finally tell a story with her pictures.

Until then she loves to make faces out of other things.  This is a wonderful game given to J by her Aunt Hilleri. She plays this game almost everyday and loves to take it to therapy.

I credit the Silly Faces game with helping her to identify features of a face and it doesn't require the kind of fine motor skills that writing does require. It took her a long time to work in out in her head, but now she takes any game and makes a face. She was supposed to take this game and make a pizzas. 

Instead she turned over the pieces and did this...

ending with a face.  :)

That's my girl!  

And briefly, my other girl today is stressing about the test she will be taking for her driver's 9 yrs.  She's 7!  E wanted to know what each floor pedal did and was very worried about how she was going to learn to drive on a road with other cars. She wanted me to also walk her though what the test will be like. I assured her she'll get lots of practice. Let's just get through first grade, okay?!?!


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