Student with difficulty pointing
Found in: Special Needs & Learning Differences
Heidi M., Canada
I just had an 8-year-old boy here for an FIS. He had trouble with pointing to his own RH fingers (for the Ode to Joy patterns) with his left pointer finger. Instead of pointing, he kept grabbing the RH fingers with his LH thumb plus finger 3. I’ve never seen this before. When I explained that he can just touch his finger lightly, he did it briefly, then reverted to the old pattern. I have a feeling his mom is going to sign him up and am curious of any of you have seen this before. He seems otherwise high functioning (talks well, quite a happy kid, just a bit hyperactive). For now I will take it just a step at a time; it may resolve on its own.
Cate R., Australia
Take it slower with him. Get him to do some point and play improv exercises on the piano. It might be a dexterity thing or him just not understanding what you want from him.
Leeanne I., Australia
Not being able to point can be a sign of autism spectrum.
Karen N., Connecticut
Fine motor development is so unique to each child. There are so many ways students will compensate for a lack of strength or coordination or ability to isolate fingers. Often, with any type of attention and focus issues, there may be fine motor problems as well. This boy is showing how he’s trying to support his fingers any way he can. Touching his finger lightly is difficult. It requires a feeling of control and understanding of needing to separate left and right hands in order to make them work together. It doesn’t sound like he’s there yet. Maybe he needs to play Ode to Joy with one finger first (preferable pointer) before he can use the other fingers. Sounds like he needs some basic simple exercises from the Gateway program to promote finger isolation and strength.
Sharlene H., Spain
Simply Music will be perfect for him! It may suggest he has some proprioceptive or kinesthetic challenges (would show up in his writing as well – gripping a pen very hard, perhaps a degree of clumsiness, among other things). I can’t, of course, diagnose from just that action but at a guess (I used to work as an OT), he may just need firmer touch on his fingers (and maybe even to touch by doing the action he did) to get a better sense of his fingers.
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
But it sounds like he CAN point – perhaps he just preferred to grab the fingers? Just be careful about making assumptions before spending more time with him.