25 Comments
Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

One of my boys was taught to tie his shoes by his OT, and that was great. The other had no need for an OT but just would not learn to tie his damn shoes. (He’s 9). Last month I lost my damn mind with it and told him I would give him $100 bucks if he would learn to tie his shoes and show me that he could do it successfully 40 times (over a week or so, not all at once). Shocker - it worked! $100 poorer, but so much richer in no longer tying anyone’s shoes but my own.

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

I just got back from PT with my 18-month old who refuses to walk. It's not QUITE the same as the utensils thing, but the concept feels so familiar to what we're going through right now. Unlike the utensil thing, his fine motor skills are on POINT (like this kid can throw a ball through a hoop he's so accurate and can put a coin through a coin slot. What the heck.) but he just... doesn't want to walk. He CAN walk if he's absolutely forced to but given the choice he just... doesn't. Is it that he can crawl really fast? Is it that he doesn't know he can walk? Is it that he doesn't trust his walking skills? Who knows. He can't really tell us why and him screaming "DOGGIE!" doesn't give us any hints. I get super stressed about it, especially when other parents try to be helpful and say things like, "oh my son didn't walk until SUPER late... like 15 months!" bc we're well past that stage now. But my husband likes to remind me that you never see a middle aged man crawling on the ground and when you ask them why they're doing it they say, "you know... walking just wasn't for me." So I'm trying to be cool about it and just do the exercises the PT gave us and not worry about it. But man is it hard not to worry about it.

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

My older kiddo -- seen by an OT for a while for "low tone" at 15 mos when he wasn't walking yet -- still isn't great at using utensils but learned to tie his shoes like a boss but in his own weirdo way (he's 13 now). IDK, I wonder sometimes how much of standards are real and how much is that it makes doctors'/teachers' lives easier to put everyone on the same timeline so they only have to do one thing at a time (I am a teen librarian and have worked in schools; no shade to teachers -- I know it comes from state legislatures and admin, and it's only one of 1000000 other things you're doing all at once, and "you're tried").

Anyway, I'm seeing a lot of 13-14yos with a surprising range of low fine motor skills at my craft programs, and basically, shrug. It's way easier to work with them as not their parent, so hats off to the OTs and parents and teachers and kids out there.

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

Yessss STATES PROJECT!!!!

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My 6 yo had to write what he did well in first quarter and what he could improve on- he wrote he wanted to get better at tying his shoes which I found very interesting for someone who doesn’t currently have shoes with laces!

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

Wow this is so timely. I was just considering writing to you to see if any witches have thoughts/experience with diagnoses after our first visit to an OT with my 3 year old son. Some of it is social emotional (like quick to BIG feelings and hard to re-regulate) and some is motor related (will not for the love of god put on his own shirts, shoes, or jackets and is still too uncoordinated to pedal a bike). I came away from this feeling like it was my fault or that there was something I could/should have done differently and nervous about what this means for the rest of his life. To be fair, we didn’t like the OT and are switching therapists so that could play a role, but it’s still so hard. The internalizing what it says about you as a parent, what it means for your kid, actually going to the appointments and doing the work. It’s so reassuring to hear from other parents and OTs. And I hope 35 years from now it will all just be a weird toddler quirk that we can laugh about the absurdity of.

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

The amount of time and energy we spent at OT baffled and horrified both sets of grandparents but it was simply amazing to me how many small building blocks go into something like using a knife and fork! Also, eating European style was (is) SO much easier for me and our neurodivergent kiddo.

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OTs are magic.

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

We had our kid evaluated by an occupational therapist six months ago when he was almost 10 and could not tie his shoes or cut his food. He still can't. This was in the OT's report:

Parent Input:

On interview mother reported that in spite of Teddy’s desire to eat certain foods (such as pancakes), Teddy is unable to cut them for consumption. Per mother’s report Teddy attended preschool and up until this point, there had been no concern of fine motor deficits that impacted his ability to participate in classroom activities.Teddy is also unable to tie his shoes. Teddy is reportedly a good-natured person and does not have difficulty with interacting with peers, but mother does feel that Teddy can be stubborn.

Fine Motor Strength

Functional assessment of motor strength proved to be within normal limits. Teddy was issued moderate resistance therapy putty and asked to retrieve items hidden with the putty and he was able to. Simulation with this same resistance putty in the shape of a “burger” and “pancake”, demonstrated appropriate strength for cutting using a knife and fork. Of note is the angle at which Teddy maneuvered the knife was awkward (instead of the knife positioned forward, it was angled towards the thumb). When asked why he didn’t cut his pancakes, he replied, “I don’t want to”.

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

It has been a real challenge to get my 7yo to write with any sort of legibility (but bless the 2nd grade teacher who has found her motivating force this school year) not helped by her dad who at slightly older (in the late 80s) kept asking why he needed better handwriting. His points that everyone who was complaining could read it so it was clearly good enough and that he had both a computer and a printer which was frankly easier were hard to argue against so he refused to accept other answers. His dad is delighted at the granddaughter turn of events!

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Did you write this specifically for me? I'm sharing this with everyone

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

I was going to say that the “I Tired” shirt reminds me of “we here for you” and the Succession gif at the end is just perfect

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Nov 8, 2023Liked by Claire Zulkey

Oh jeez, I don’t use a knife to eat because I don’t eat meat and never need one… am I going to have to start modelling knife and fork use?! Never thought about that before.

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