Children struggle to hold pens because of excessive use of iPads, claim experts
Without activities such as manipulating playdough, holding scissors and scribbling with pencils and crayons, muscles in the shoulder, elbow and wrist needed for writing do not develop.
Teachers have reported that some children do not even know how to receive a pencil or paintbrush, because they no longer have the dexterity to grasp the objects. And the problem has become worse in the past decade.
“The risk is that we make too many assumptions about why a child isn’t able to write at the expected age and don’t intervene when there is a technology-related cause,” said Mellissa Prunty, a paediatric occupational therapist and vice-chair of the NHA.
In 2014, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned that rising numbers of children are unable to perform simple tasks such as using building blocks because of overexposure to iPads.
Karin Bishop, an assistant director at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, also added: “Whilst there are many positive aspects to the use of technology, there is growing evidence on the impact of more sedentary lifestyles and increasing virtual social interaction, as children spend more time indoors online and less time physically participating in active occupations.”
Shirley Shayler, headmistress of Millfield Prep School, also recently cautioned in The Telegraph, that swiping on tablets was damaging childen’s ability to write.