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Pencil grip in 6 year old - to fix or not to fix!

(14 Posts)
pjsgalore Fri 04-Nov-16 13:01:02

Hello wise ladies, I've posted about this in the past, but am back again.

My DS, now 6 and in Year 1, holds his pen in the craziest way - almost fist-like. His teacher said it was the worst grip she'd ever seen and that we should see an occupational therapist. So am currently looking for one.

HOWEVER, he can write legibly and enjoys it, and his drawing isn't too bad - he's doing fine in class. He bucks against any efforts to change his grip - and i have tried EVERYTHING (short of seeing an OT yet). We've got every grip imaginable. He does climbing regularly to strengthen his hands (he's brilliant at climbing and loves it). He swims well which uses his gross motor skills. He's good at threading and playdough and lego etc. He's excellent at using the controls for Playstation. He has no other issues at all.

I guess my question is, has anyone had a similar problem with pen grip - and have they just decided to leave it? If so, has it caused any problems later on? Any similar stories etc would be much appreciated.

I've found one OT but the costs are exorbitant. They've quoted us £600 just for us to fill in some questionnaires and for the 90-minute assessment - and £90 an hour for any subsequent sessions. And a lot of the questions in the questionnaire seem to relate to other behavourial issues - such as sensory issues, making friends - and he has really no other problems I can think of. Popular, no problem with loud noises, not clumsy, easy-going, good at ball sports. eats well, articulate etc. His reading seems to have plateaued a bit lately. But that's all I can think of.

Any help, advice would be hugely appreciated.

TheFirie Sat 05-Nov-16 02:24:37

A new girl from Poland arrived a couple of years ago in my DS's class. I was a class helper and noticed she had the weirdest grip I had ever seen, holding the pencil with a stretched thumb and pinky and the other fingers not touching the pencil. But what amazed me most, was the beauty of her drawings. I couldn't believe someone (not a child, but any person) could draw like that. Her handwriting was normal and her hands/fingers had no issues, she just like to hold her pencil that way.
During this olympics, there was an Italian swimmer who had a very unconventional swimming technique and he won the gold medal in his race and everyone was talking about his weird way of swimming.

Just to say, sometimes, different just means different not worse.

schmack Sat 05-Nov-16 02:31:32

my son has hypertonicity, particularly in his hands (can bend the thumb back to touch his wrist) and holds everything in a weird way. The paed rheumatologist told us to just let him get on with it and not try and chnage anything.and wrote a letter to the school to that effect. Hes 9 now and doesn't seem to cause any problems, although he is a bit slow at writing.

schmack Sat 05-Nov-16 02:31:58

hyper mobility that is meant to say.

ipsofatto234 Sun 06-Nov-16 09:15:34

Hi, just to echo what schmack said - that's also what we were told. If he's enjoying writing and it's not affecting his willingness to write, we were encouraged to leave it be…

GoofyTheHero Sun 06-Nov-16 09:19:22

I've got an odd pencil grip. I remember teachers trying to change it when I was about 6 and I resisted. They eventually left me to it on the basis that I had neat handwriting and could draw.
I got an A in art A-level and have a law degree if that's any consolation?!

imsodizzy Sun 06-Nov-16 09:28:12

I've got an unusual pencil grip, it's been commented on but no one has tried to get me to change it from what I can remember. It hasn't caused me any problems either

Sugarwork Sun 06-Nov-16 20:20:41

The issue may come as he gets older and the volume of writing increases - the type of grip you describe may restrict his fluidity. I agree that if it's not holding him back then don't change it, but how will you know? Is an NHS OT out of the question? It doesn't sound like there are any other issues but why has he developed that grip? Is there joint laxity/discomfort behind it?

Nightwish85 Fri 11-Nov-16 11:58:58

I'm 31 and left handed. Ever since I can remember I've had people commenting on the way I grip/write. To me I don't know any better as it's the way I've always done it. It's comfortable and sometimes I don't even understand what's so odd about it. I don't recall teachers ever mentioning it or trying to change it either. There may be little you can do so I'd suggest letting them be. It's never affected me in a bad way

Rueben Fri 11-Nov-16 12:13:47

What sugarwork said
As a child, I had an extremely unusual grip and so the teachers had tried to get me to change it but I resisted. I think they gave up trying because I also happened to have the neatest handwriting in the class. It didn't hold me back in primary or secondary school, but when I did A levels at sixth form it caused a lot of problems. There was so much more writing with time restraints, and I couldn't write as fast as others in exams. Also, I would have to stop every so often because of hand cramps and my fingers would swell up too. When studying for my crucial A2 exams, I ended up forcing myself to change to a 'normal' pencil grip (it was hard to change at that age and was annoying having to waste time I could have been studying).

CreamCrackerundertheSettee Fri 11-Nov-16 12:16:44

My daugher is now is yr 3 and since yr 1 has held her pencil oddly. We've a ton of grips and shaped pencils but helping her to change the grip
hasn't worked at all. Her handwriting isn't great - not helped by the move to cursive handwriting but if I could rewind a few years I'd concentrate on helping her writing in her chosen grip.

Dd2 is in now in yr 1 with the same grip and I'm leaving her to it!

MoonfaceAndSilky Fri 11-Nov-16 12:26:49

If there is nothing wrong with his writing, what is the problem?

My 11yr old son holds his pen very oddly but he is the most fantastic drawer, he also holds his knife & fork in opposite hands although he is not left-handed confused But I must admit his writing is a little scruffy.

We did try these pencil grips which are supposed to get you to hold your fingers/thumb in the right place but I figured if he can draw really really well then, there can't be much wrong with him wink

StercusAccidit Fri 11-Nov-16 13:51:56

Have you checked out pencil grips for dyspraxics
I have a dreadful pencil grip its apparently one of the 'signs' ?
Thankfully most writing now doesn't have to be done with a pen or pencil smile

TheDropBear Fri 11-Nov-16 13:58:43

I write in an odd way, the best way to explain it is I write like left handed people often do over the top of the writing but with my right hand.
My mum tried to correct it but I was stubborn child and refused. It's quite annoying now, I can't use ink because I smudge it, my hand aches quickly and people comment on it all the time. Turns out mum did know best grin

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