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Gripping Issues by The Shoreline Occupational Therapy Staff last updated January 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Gripping Issues by The Shoreline Occupational Therapy Staff last updated January 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gripping Issues by The Shoreline Occupational Therapy Staff last updated January 2014

2 What do you see? Child has a tight grip. (No space between thumb and fingers) Child holds pencil within the palm. Child ’ s thumb wraps around fingers on the tool. Or fingers wrap the thumb. Child ’ s hand tires easily. Child cannot change his way of holding the tool. Wrist is bent down. Hand and arm “ float ” in the air while writing.

3 Do you see this?

4 Why? Grip patterns may be immature. Muscles within the hand do not work in concert. Grip patterns are developed through exposure to manipulatives and large motor activities. Grip patterns are habit based as a result of the above. Grip patterns are almost impossible to change as they are HABIT based. These grip patterns are observed in ALL ages, preschool through adult. The optimal time to change these patterns is preschool through 1st grade, however, as the child ages, it is easier to change a habit when engaged in learning a new activity.

5 What it should look like: Wrist bent up-see #1 (when arm is on table, hand is bent upward) Open web space-see #2 (circle between thumb and fingers) Fingers and thumb move the tool 2 1

6 2 other functional grips Quadrapod 3 fingers and thumb direct the tool Maintains position of wrist and open web space Adapted tripod 2 fingers and thumb direct the tool Maintains position of wrist and open web space

7 How does grip effect output? If the wrist is bent down or the fingers not moving, a child engaged in writing tasks will have: Difficulty controlling the tool if the writing space is too large Too tight or too loose grasp on pencil effecting pressure on the paper or into the tool Letter forms which are distorted due to poor motor control Decreased output in speed as well as volume Fatigue more quickly than his peers *Child may shake or rub hands frequently during writing (motor) *Child may refuse to write or take a lot of “ breaks ” *Child may switch hands

8 Keep in Mind Habits are very hard to break This habit was likely formed several years before the child entered school The best time to teach a “ new ” grip is during a brief, easy, & familiar activity e.g. coloring or drawing Tell student, “This is your school grip.” Know your child ’ s tolerance level for change Know your own tolerance level for change when you have expectations for your students to change

9 So, What Now? There is a lot you can do All students can benefit There are simple changes which can be made to positively effect the child ’ s ability to participate in the classroom

10 Positioning Child seated at desk with feet on the floor To decrease fatigue Desk height appropriate for child (2 ” above bent elbow when seated at desk) To decrease fatigue Position of paper - slanted to same angle as forearm of writing hand To improve the position of the wrist Upright surface - slant board, chalkboard work, tape paper or project to wall or cupboard space. To improve the position of the wrist Short pencils or crayons (1-2 ” in length-golf size) For increasing movement within the fingers

11 Pencil Grips For placement of fingers on pencil shaft Stickers or rubber band on the pencil shaft Foam gripper to assist with increased pressure on the tool Plastic gripper that helps with where to hold on the length of the tool and with comfort (available in different shapes) For specific position of thumb and index finger “ The Pencil Grip ” promotes correct grip pattern The Pencil Grip Crossover Grip Twist and Write Pencils Stetro Grip HandiWriter- helps kids with correct pencil position

12 Pencil Grips for placementfor position

13 Writing Tools For younger students pencils should be short (half size of regular No. 2 pencil) and regular diameter. Do not use fat pencils with most kids as these are heavier. 1.Use triangle shaped pencils and crayons. 2.Avoid markers on dry erase or on paper. Use waxed based “Dry Erase” crayons for increased resistance. This helps instill motor patterns for new learning If you are writing within a small space (less than 1 inch, i.e wide or college ruled paper), write with a small diameter tool. Ex. Standard #2 pencil or pen

14 Pre-writing warm-ups Push hands Pull hands Hug yourself Reach

15 Pre-writing warm ups pull up on chair sit up tallget outrageous sit up tall

16 Free Time Activities Small manipulatives that include fingers moving e.g. Lite Brite, pegs and pegboards, building blocks (not necessarily legos), Hi-Ho Cherry-O, marble games, card games, geoboards, spinning tops, dice games, Mancala, Perler beads Hiding and retrieving small objects from clay An “ office station ” with tools - templates, staplers, hole punches, tape, paper clips, envelopes, small stickers, etc. Creating with small objects – Cheerios, popcorn, beans, buttons, packing peanuts, toothpicks, marshmallows, etc. Tool use - tongs to transfer items (moving game pieces to a playing place), clothespins, plastic knives to spread or cut, eyedroppers Classroom jobs - spray bottles to water plants, wringing out sponges, wiping down desks, picking up small pieces of paper from the floor, mail into student cubbies or passing out papers

17 References and Resources Benbow, Mary, Loops and Other Groups, Therapy Skill Builders, Benbow, Mary, Understanding the Hand from the Inside Out, Developmental Activities Based on Hand Anatomy, Workshop, Benbow, Mary, Understanding the Hand from the Outside In, Developmental Activities Based on Hand Anatomy, Workshop, Olsen, Jan, Handwriting Without Tears, 5th ed. published by Jan Z. Olsen, Knight and Gilpin Decker, Hands at Work and Play, Therapy Skill Builders, 1994(Another handwriting warm-up available by request) Resources


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