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Pen for DS with poor handwriting:recommend?

(17 Posts)
mindgone Sun 10-Nov-13 15:45:04

DS2 has always had appalling handwriting, but it's legible so the teachers have never complained. He is now in Y12 too, got good GCSEs (so it can't be that bad I suppose!), and would like to be a doctor, so I guess it was meant to be! On a more serious note, DS1 is left handed and has always had problems finding a good pen. He now absolutely swears by orange BIC pens! They are quite hard to find, but available in WHSmiths. They have a very fine nib and don't smudge. We bought a big box of 20 from amazon which kept him going in sixth form.

theladyrainy Sun 10-Nov-13 14:44:16

I just can't understand why any school wouldn't allow a child to use a laptop.

Being able to word process is a much more valuable skill in 'real life' than neat handwriting.

basildonbond Sun 10-Nov-13 09:12:20

It depends on the cause of his poor handwriting - ds1 used to have terrible handwriting but now uses a Lamy fountain pen and his writing is very neat but veerrry slow - he uses a laptop for exams and any longer pieces of writing

Ds2 is dyspraxic and still - at 14 - doesn't have a mature pencil grip - he finds the stabilo pens the most comfortable to hold but his writing is still virtually illegible - he uses the computer at home and was using a rubbish alpha smart at school but didn't want to use it much as a) it's useless and b) it screams special needs which when you're a not v confident young teen is the last thing you need - we've just got him a little laptop for school use - he's brilliant at typing and doesn't write at all if he can help it

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 09-Nov-13 09:24:15

Ladyrain, some school won't let pupils use laptops.

Our school had these hideous alphasmart things forcthe dyslexic pupils, which were so awful many of the kids who needed them refused to use them (they were supposed to be checked out of pupil support every am or pm too!).

After a bit of argument with them, they changed this and said pupils own laptops could be used provided parents agreed they were the responsibility of the parents, not the school if lost or damaged... shortly after that, we bought all our DS a cheap mini laptop fir school use, as the school decided at that point that all senior pupils could use laptops if they wanted, as that was "real life" (there was a change of HT with new ideas).

ladyrainy Sat 09-Nov-13 00:03:36

I can't write with that bendy stabilo due to the angle that you need to hold it at, but I do like this one very much.

why doesn't your ds use a lap top though?

Naoko Fri 08-Nov-13 23:57:37

Yes, try them. I also have utterly atrocious handwriting and can't write legibly with anything other than a fountain pen. I've owned many over the years and they are very personal. I favour quite thick, heavy pens, but many people don't so you should really give them a go.

These days though, I type everything short of my shopping list. And if I wasn't so bad at remembering to buy cartridges for my printer, I'd probably type that too. Less pain and suffering for all involved.

Rockinhippy Fri 08-Nov-13 23:47:29


Rockinhippy Fri 08-Nov-13 23:45:40

I second eats stabilo pen, my zdD has had similar problems & this along with a writing slope & special wedge seat cushion (physio room via amazon) to adjust her posture - have made a massive difference - though she has hypermobile finger joints which we've only realised quite recently affect her grip - could this be a possibility ??

School will likely have these things so might be worth speaking with the SENCO & asking if he could try them - DD saw an OT who recommended these for DD, testing her writing speed & fluididety with & without the gadgets - the results where pretty amazing

Might be worth googling correct pen grip or similar to see if you can find charts to compare your DSs writing grip with - if that's off, chances are his posture might be too, so could be something to follow up with an OT & school

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 08-Nov-13 23:35:25

I have dyslexia and dysgraphia. given time and with concentration I can "draw" beautiful handwriting, under pressure, it's varies from difficult to read, to absolutely awful. DS2 is the same.

We both find the best pens are really fine ones - especially Uniball Micro Delux by Mitshibushi.

Also, DS2 was able to do some of his exams on computer - ask your DS school to assess him to see if that could help him.

DS1 has dysgraphia and the plan is to move him on to a laptop once his typing speeds up.

doorkeeper Fri 08-Nov-13 23:13:52

I've recently taken my kid to a handwriting tutor and they recommended any pen that slows him down - one of his many problems was that he was writing way too fast, which made his already terrible handwriting even worse. A fountain pen has worked really well for this.

They also suggested my kid had dysgraphia. I'd never heard of this before, and was a bit skeptical, but have since looked into it and it's apparently a real neurological condition (and not a middle-class excuse for crappy handwriting, which was, rather meanly, my first thought). You might want to look into it, too.

My sons' school recommend Lamy fountain pens as their shape seems to help encourage a good grip. Lamy Safari are around £11-15.

Dilidali Fri 01-Nov-13 07:42:29

These days they have single use prefilled fountain pens, not too expensive. But they tend to be quite thick nibbed.
The alternative would be a Rotring pen, they are very very thin nibbed (0.01, 0.1) and he might like those, plus, the others might be able to read easier.
With my DD I used Rotring.

Failing that, you might just have to resign yourself to the fact tou might have a future doctor, they were all born with an atrocious handwriting. smile

eatyourveg Fri 01-Nov-13 07:32:22

I'd hold off on the ink and go for one of these available in most stationers it comes in left or right handed versions

All the students with handwriting problems at my FE college are told about these pens

Labro Fri 01-Nov-13 07:17:59

Best to go and try out pens.
My ds is only 11 but we were told to get him to use the pilot frixion roller ball or one of the pens from the stabilo range (might be a bit young for yours but could be something he could use for homework to generally improve his grip?) both have improved ds writing.

LuvMyBoyz Thu 31-Oct-13 22:48:12

My advice to pupils with this kind of problem is to go to a stationers and try any and every type, size and shape of pen to get the best that suits.

Eloise01 Thu 31-Oct-13 18:18:19

Sixth form DS has handwriting that can be very difficult to read and this probably effects his marks and certainly his confidence. We're looking at dyslexia or other possibilities but, in the meantime, to help him along, I was hoping to get a fountain pen. He's used one to good effect in the past. Of course, he could simply need to take more time but certainly using gel ink pens isn't helping.

It's worth a try and DS is keen to give it a go. Wondered (ages since I've bought a pen) if anyone has a teenager who's benefitted and, if so, could recommend a pen? He's got a slim hand so probably something quite chunky that he could easy grip of?


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