How to Choose the Right Tools for Handwriting


Before your pupil starts writing, ensure that he is using the right sort of pen or pencil.

PENCIL/PEN

  • Use a good quality tool that works for the child. Have plenty of spares, as the ADHD child loses pens and pencils!
  • The best quality coloured pencils, markers or crayons should be used to minimize frustration for the child.
  • A pencil with a larger shaft is easier to manipulate. The shaft can be increased by using a pencil grip or by taping three pencils together with the writing one slightly longer than the other two.
  • Triangular pencils do not roll off desks as easily.
  • A felt-tip handwriting pen may be easier for a child with a heavy grip who frequently breaks pencil leads.
  • A good quality felt-tip handwriting pen is less messy than a fountain pen and gives much the same appearance.

Tools for Handwriting

PENCIL GRIP

Children with ADHD often have immature neuromuscular control and are made to write before their hands are sufficiently developed. As a result they often develop strange pencil grips. Once habituated (usually by the age of seven years) it is very hard to change these grips, even when they have mature neuromuscular control. However, many go on to write successfully with strange grips, which though not ideal as they can cause hand problems later in life, are usually adequate in these days of computers.

The younger child will need repeated prompting to hold the pencil with the ‘proper grip’. The important aspect of the grip is that there is a space between the thumb and first finger so that they can move the pencil in opposition to each other, with the second finger providing support under the pencil. If the space between the thumb and first finger is closed, as in a child fisting the hand around the pencil, then increasing the size of the pencil shaft should help.

Filed Under: Education & Training

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About the Author: Darlene Aronson holds a degree in English literature and is a college teacher in Texas, USA. She likes to help others by sharing her experiences in education and training field. She has written for many blogs as well as local magazines.

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