Friday, December 10, 2010

Fumble Fingers

Fine motor skillsImage by Paul Vivier via FlickrI have just been trying to come to terms with my occupational therapy assessment of fine motor skills, i.e. I really don't have any.   My scores on the pegboard test are abysmally low:  I am in the bottom 1-5% range.  Like as in, I am where folks are who practically don't have fingers! Like, you know, amputees, or people with neuropathy, etc.

What do I have on the ends of my palms?  Sausages?  I mean, I knew my motor skills were lousy and I was never any good with my hands and it takes a lot of concentration to manipulate things around me.  But this bad???? Sigh.  Groan.  Sob.  Oh well.  Well, I have overcome other things before.  I mean, my visual memory was a whopping 9% when I started vision therapy and it is now cheerfully in the 85%.  So with a bit of luck and with the right people on it, maybe this can be overcome, too.  I have to find someone who really understands fine motor skills.  Also,  I am not sure where all this fits in with getting gross motor skills together.  Do I have more to do on gross motor skills (like getting your arms and legs together) or, can I plunge into fine motor skills relatively soon?  Maybe I should wait until my binocular vision kicks in (I only see in 2 dimensions, not 3 dimensions, ie my depth perception is not good). Which way to go? 

As a side note, a lot of folks with ADHD and Autism have problems with fine motor skills.

The test I took was normed for factory workers and assembly workers.  I guess factory work is just not going to be my occupation of choice. However, I do think that this definitely affects my activities of daily living and ability to manipulate a computer.  I do manage to button buttons, zip zippers, and tie shoes but a lot of these things take more concentration than what they probably should. 

Also, manipulating a computer is hard for me when you get into formatting.  Writing this blog is easy; however, getting the format together for the blog was not.  Formatting word documents, adding and manipulating pictures into documents and power point presentations is an awful lot of work.  Dragging and dropping is like this:  try and grab whatever needs to be moved, drag a bit, oops, drop it somewhere it shouldn't be, try and grab it a couple times before I manage to get a hold of it, get a hold of it, drag a bit more, drop it somewhere else, and repeat this until things have been dropped where they should be.  I have mashed up more Excel spreadsheets than what I care to think about.   I think for each draft of a formatted piece of work, I am redoing that draft 3-5 times because I have screwed up the format.   So, when I have a document to turn out that requires review by a team of people and I add in their comments and screw up and unscrew up the format repeatedly, I am working my tail off to get my work in on time.


Also, I can screw up my computer and put it in a weird state because I hit the wrong key at the wrong time.  Right now, my mail program on the Mac is not working properly.  I probably hit the wrong key somewhere along the line and now, I have to reinstall mail.  Whoever reinstalls Mail on the Mac?  I am getting around this by using my hotmail and gmail accounts, so all is not lost.  But I would like to use my Mail program on the Mac.   I do manage a lot better on the Mac than on the PC because Macs are more robust and more user friendly.

This also says a lot about where I fit in on a team.  Often times in professional environments, the older female worker ends up with a lot of administrative tasks (aka high end clerical work).   I just can't play this role.

This whole reflection on my finger futzing leads me to think about my family.  My grandparents worked in factories!!!  or were manual laborers of one sort or another!!!  My grandmother was a silk weaver!!! My aunt worked in jewelry factories!!! Their whole work life was spent around getting their little fingers to work quickly and accurately.  I have no idea how they did this!  My mom was a telephone switchboard operator back in the day of the plug in switchboard.  I can't imagine how many calls she dropped!  My dad was an airplane mechanic during World War II.  The sergeants must have had a grand old time with him as the military is focused on attention to detail.  Thank God, he got the GI bill and got out of manual labor.  My poor family.  God....

At any rate, onward and upward.  There must be the Guru of Finger Skills out there somewhere who can correct this. 
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