Ready for writing – seating and desks
In order to write effectively it is important to be sitting in a stable position. If the child is not able to balance when sitting they will find it hard to take their hands away from their body in order to write fluently. Therefore it is important to consider the child’s seating and the table or desk they are using. Unfortunately changing these is not always an option in school but it is something that could be considered at home.
The ideal sitting position is:
Feet flat on the floor (if the child’s feet don’t touch the floor try placing a box or telephone book under their feet for extra height).
Hip, knees and ankles at a 90º angle
Trunk supported by the backrest of the chair (a cushion behind could help).
Thighs and buttocks well supported on the chair.
The table or desk should be about 2Ëù below elbow height, when the elbow is bent to a 90° angle when the child is sitting up straight. There are specialist tables and chairs available that can be height adjusted to suit the child. Look out for signs of poor trunk stability such as sitting in a “W” position, i.e. placing their bottom between their legs on the floor. If the child does this, encourage them to sit cross-legged and lean against a wall if necessary. Some children may “flop” over on the table and prop their heads up with their hands – a chair with good support is essential before the child can begin work freely and confidently with his/her hands.