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Ask the Occupational Therapist

The number one question our occupational therapists get asked when they are delivering handwriting training to teachers is, “How can I fix how my students hold their pencils?” Our panel of occupational therapists gave the following response: “First, the problem more likely stems from a lack of strength in their shoulders than from a lack of strength in their hands or fingers. If you find that a student is having difficulty with his or her pencil grip, ask the student to stand up and write on a vertical surface that is at eye level or higher, such as a whiteboard or easel. This will help the student’s wrist extension and position the thumb, index finger, and middle finger to grip the pencil correctly.” For ways to help your students build strength and endurance in their fingers, arms, and shoulders; refer to this issue’s Motor Skills activity.

Zaner-Bloser’s panel of occupational therapists is here to support your efforts to improve your students' handwriting. Tell us about specific handwriting concerns or questions you may have.

Submit your handwriting questions for publication in the next issue of the Write On! Newsletter. If your question is selected, you will receive a $50 gift card. Please include your name and school so we can include this information in the article.



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