One of the more common reasons that students are referred for OT is for abnormal pencil grasp. While most of us were taught that there is “one right way” to hold a pencil there are actually several functional grasps (see below). If a student is using an alternative grasp, there is no need to be concerned unless he or she complains of hand fatigue or is struggling with legibility.

Most students with a poor pencil grasp have underlying hand muscle weakness, so if you observe an abnormal grasp pattern, be sure to check out our Strengthening Activities for the Hands under Fine Motor Skills Development. While some strategies  have immediate results, building hand  strength requires regular practice of resistance activities to build up the intrinsic hand muscles.

The following documents contain strategies to address the most common types of handwriting problems:

Activities to Encourage Hand Dominance 773.95 KB
Activities to Remediate Letter Reversals 319.00 KB
Adaptions to Increase Grip on Writing Utensils 869.57 KB
Handwriting Speed and Legibility 557.39 KB
Heavy Pencil Pressure 591.33 KB
Helping Hands-A-World of Manipulatives to Boost Handwriting Skills 3,965.54 KB
More Handwriting Handouts 69.50 KB
OTs Top Ten List for Pre-Handwriting Excercises 345.90 KB
Pencil Grasps 704.83 KB
Reasonable Answers to Handwriting Questions 7,329.75 KB
Visual Motor Activity 1,729.62 KB
Ways to Encourage Letter-Number Handwriting 293.32 KB
Weighted Pencils 333.18 KB
Writes Too Lightly 556.77 KB
Writing Strategies 3,237.23 KB
Activities to Aid Development of an Efficient Grasp 95.10 KB
Bilateral Coordination Activities 47.44 KB
Handwriting Problems Solutions 69.73 KB
Handwriting Strategies for the Classroom 113.91 KB
Keyboarding Programs 156.93 KB
One handed programs 49.27 KB
Fine Motor Ideas 268.69 KB
Efficient Grips 150.85 KB
Inefficient Grips 177.83 KB
Reasonable Answers to Commonly Asked Handwriting Questions 276.31 KB
Make Those Hands Strong – Hand Strengthening – Fine Motor Activities for the Classroom 289.67 KB
Classroom Handwriting Warmups 150.37 KB