Monday, April 4, 2011

Functional Pencil Grasps

One of the most common problems occupational therapists in the school are consulted about is improper pencil grasp. The most efficient way to hold a pencil is the dynamic tripod grasp; however, many other patterns are commonly seen in children, and these grasps do not necessarily require intervention or modification. Here are some examples of functional grasps:


Several studies have found no statistically significant differences in legibility and speed among these types of pencil grasps. However, if a child has an awkward grasp, and complains that her hand tires or hurts, you may want to consider an adaptive pencil, or pencil grip. I really like the "Twist-n-Write" pencils and the Grotto pencil grip. They can be purchased at Amazon. These pencils and pencil grips promote a nice grasp and do a nice job keeping the fingers and thumb in place, thus encouraging a more functional grasp. You also want to encourage wrist extension during writing, and you can do this by having the child write on a slanted surface such as a 3-ring binder or slant board.

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References (Including Photos of Pencil Grasps):
       Koziatek, S. M., & Powell, N. J. (2003). Pencil grips, legibility, and speed of fourth-graders’ writing in cursive. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 284–288.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to have to try these for my son. Thank you for sharing them. We've had a terrible time with pencil grasp so far.