This is a question we often hear from parents who are concerned with handwriting and the way their child holds a writing utensil. Each child will have an individual preference for how a grip feels in their hands. There is no one grip that is the perfect grip for everyone. Ask your occupational therapist to explore some of the pencil grips that they may have prior to making a purchase. This will save you time, money, and the possibility that your child’s hand will not be compatible with them.
Some things to look for when fitting a grip to your child are:
- Proper finger placement,
- Is the palm in an open and curved shape?
- Is the wrist turned with slight extension?
- How is your child responding? Some protest is common. The true test is after they have used it for a few minutes. Have they forgotten it is there? Are they adjusting well to the new finger placements? Do they appear comfortable?
- Does stability of the writing utensil increase, therefore improving handwriting and drawing techniques?
Below are a few of the grips that we have kid tested and therapist approved.
1. Grotto grip: “The specialized angles and finger guards promote an open web space and hand and palmer arching. Discourages hyper-mobility at the joints of the thumb and index finger. Once fingers are placed correctly, the Grotto Grip prevents the user from reverting back to immature hand grasps. For both the left and right hands. Latex free.” ~Therapro
This grip has been a favorite of many for the solid support that it offers without being too firm. Decreases thumb wrap.
2. Crossover Grip: “This is “The Pencil Grip” shape with “wings” which help to maintain the proper tripod, 3-finger, grasp by keeping the index finger and thumb from “crossing over.” For either the right or left hand. The shape, combined with the soft material, offers support, comfort and assistance with finger placement.” ~Therapro
This grip is excellent for a child who holds their pencil too tight, however, needs the additional finger placement supports. Decreases thumb wrap.
3. Stetro Pen and Pencil Grip: “Plastic molded with finger indentations. Star indicates thumb placement. Forefinger and middle finger fit comfortably into the other two indentations. For use with both the left and right hand.” ~Therapro
This grip is perfect for the child who needs fingertip placement support. Small, unobtrusive, and goes unnoticed by other classmates for the child who is concerned about their pencil looking different.
4. Standard Foam Grip: “Provides a soft cushion for writers. 1-1/2″ long. 1/2″ diameter. Assorted colors.” ~Therapro
Excellent grip for the child who has a proper functional grasp already but tends to hold their pencil too tight. Holding the utensil too tight can lead to hand cramping and fatiguing quickly during writing tasks.
Blog by: Laney London, COTA/L, IMC, Certified Handwriting Specialist
For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit our website at www.pediatrictherapysolution.com