How does your child hold a pencil?

      13 Comments on How does your child hold a pencil?


This is kinda random but I was reminded today that we still have a great deal of work left to do. 

We have been working with Gavin for years on his pencil grip. 

You can see in the pictures below how awful it is.  I use the word awful because he’s doing physical damage to his first finger and may end up requiring surgery at some point. 

You can see, especially his middle finger,  at the top joint, is hyperextended.  It looks so painful.  I’m sure a potion of that his aided by his loose joints but still.
We first noticed this years ago because he was literally snapping crayons and pencils due to pressure exerted by his fingers.  When he was evaluated,  they said that he was going to do permanent damage if this wasn’t corrected.



I’m not sure what that damage would be but I imagine it would have something to do with his joints. 

The other concern is how hard he presses as well.  Many times he will color right through the page, if the crayon or pencil actually survives that long.

Truthfully, this pencil grip problem has been lost in the shuffle of everything else he has going on. In the grand skeem of things, it hasn’t been as great as priority as his other health problems.  However, it’s clear to me that it’s obviously still something we need to help him with.



Do any of your kids have problems with the way they hold a pencil,  pen or crayon?

image

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My hand hurts every time I see him writing.  🙁

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)

  

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DeeBrake
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DeeBrake

it is a little "off" but i have seen worse. i was also told by a teacher, that if a pincher grip is not corrected by age 6 or so, it is very very very difficult to correct. a habit is formed, and much more deeply imprinted than other habits.

Rob Gorski
Admin

@DeeBrake with Gavin, it's not so much the grip itself as the it is the force behind it.

DeeBrake
Guest
DeeBrake

 @lostandtired  @DeeBrake  yes. the awkwardness of the grip is resulting in more pressure. the pencil isnt RESTING as much as it is being held in place. and with the angle of that finger, held firmly. it took us a long time to correct my sons, but early intervention and repetitively adjusting his hand each time he needed. it was a long process but consistent as well. with all of the issues Gavin is facing, it is understandable that some have taken a back seat to others. correct pencil posturing surely wasnt a highest priority.  in the meantime have you tried those… Read more »

Rob Gorski
Admin

@DeeBrake we've tried many things. The most successful was one of those squishy pencil grip things. 🙂

Ella
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Ella

I would guess that finger braces would be the best way to help his grip.   My fingers are hypermobile too, though not as badly as Gavin's. I think I can see something of what is going on with his grip. The traditional grip on my fingers bends my middle finger too far toward my pinkie, and presumably does for him too. Hypermobility, after all, isn't just about bending joints backward… they also rotate around too much, and bend sideways. Come to think of it, bending sideways is substantially more uncomfortable than bending backward. Bending the joints backward was never… Read more »

Rob Gorski
Admin

That's a great idea. Thank you 🙂

Batty
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Batty

I can see several things going on in his grip.  There are adapters that can assist and make it less stressful for him to hold a pen or pencil and write.  Does he grind his teeth or clench his jaw as he writes?  He is using an excessively high pressure grip.  Can he dislocate joints easily?  He may have something like Marfam's condition or other collagen disorder.  Does he break bones easily?  Has he had a bone density scan?  {We have the collagen issues and can dislocate lots of joints.  All the children have osteoporosis and have had treatments for… Read more »

Rob Gorski
Admin

@Batty thank you very much. 🙂

julh
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julh

Hey Rob,There have actually been studies recently into pencil grip which raised questions about the traditional way to hold a pencil. Basically it doesn't matter how a kid holds a pencil unless it's causing pain or slowing them down significantly. After the age of 8 it's virtually impossible to change anyway.To reduce the pressure Gavin puts through the pencil you can do lots of warm up activities to increase his sensory registration before he starts, basically turn them on and wake up the sensory receptors before he even picks up a pencil. He would probably also benefit from writing on… Read more »

disillusioned
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disillusioned

My eldest son with aspergers also has an awkward pencil grip, and uses so much pressure that his hand aches.  My middle son with some asperger traits and lots of other diagnosis' and learning disabilities has the same grip and problem.  I just wanted to say that our "disillusioned and exhausted family of 5" has also decided that there are bigger problems than pencil grip going on in our world.  My boys are similar in age to Gavin, and we have been told by occupational therapists and psychologists that it is too late and they should just learn to type and do all of their… Read more »

ThAOSteen
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ThAOSteen

@AspieWriter I used to hold pencils so hard I got a lot of pain from it, so I had to make a new way for me to hold it.. @reality_autism

AspieWriter
Guest
AspieWriter

@ThAOSteen @reality_autism I still am funny about what I write with, I actually hold and "try-out" a few differnet pens before I sit down

Anne
Guest

Hey Rob, Wondering if you ever figured out any more ideas on this for Gavin? (I haven’t read your more recent posts yet). I’m trying to put together some ideas for myself while I wait to see OT. I was recently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type (aka Type 3) as someone suggested Marfans, EDS runs somewhat in that same family of disorders. Lots of people with EDS also fall on the Autism spectrum as well. Of course there are many hypermobile people who don’t have a connective tissue disorder too. For me I’m finding a combination of thicker writing… Read more »