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Hypermobility & pencil grasp

(15 Posts)
JellyCurls Sun 25-Jan-15 10:44:05

DS1 is now 4 and I have just registered him for school. He wears orthotic insoles to support his bendy ankles and GP has confirmed hypermobility. I noticed the other day when drawing he still holds his pencil in a Palmer grasp the way a baby does. I tried to help him fix it but he said it hurt his hands.

School he is going to is a stickler for proper pencil hold, have had many issues with school and DD (ataxic cp and hypermobility). Is there anything I can do to help him, should he be seeing OT or something? He is otherwise healthy just a big big bendy.

Thanks xx

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 25-Jan-15 10:51:32

Have you tried pencil grips to make the pencil thicker? They are thick tubes, you place the pencil inside.

Your GP needs to refer him to an OT really. My son has this too and writing causes him severe pain as his fingers are also bendy. He uses a laptop at school now which really helps, but they couldn't do anything without an OT's letter (he's 15). He falls over a lot too and struggles to do PE as his ankles are really weak (and he has insoles).

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 25-Jan-15 10:52:35

Clutterbugsmum Sun 25-Jan-15 11:36:52

I have a 'bendy boy' as well. We have some of those pencil grips at home and his school also use them. We also have stabiloo easy graph pencil as he is left handed as well. They have helped him know where to place his fingers when writing.

PolterGoose Sun 25-Jan-15 12:06:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RunAwayHome Sun 25-Jan-15 13:12:58

I'm hypermobile as well, and I now write with the pen between my index and middle fingers, which completely eases the pressure on my thumb, which is very unstable. How I wish I'd known about this at school! But I was always encouraged to use the stnadard tripod grip, which I just couldn't do, and ended up with a horrible thumb wrap that gave me loads of pain and calluses.

It's called various names: alternative pencil grasp, monk's grasp, D'Nealian grasp, etc., and googling 'alternative' pencil grasp shows images of it. I find it very comfortable. It is one of a small number of possible grasps that my OT said were considered stable and effective.

You can also achieve a similar grasp by using pencils that are sort of Y-shaped, which have part of the Y between the index and middle fingers, and part between the index finger and thumb. One brand of the pencils is called Twist-n-Write, and is suitable for small hands including children starting school. There's a larger pen version, PenAgain, for larger hands. I think there are similar ones called 'ring pens', where your index finger goes through a gap in the pen.

She also suggested wrapping cohesive tape around pencils and pens (and other objects) to make them much thicker, and I have found that helped as well.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 25-Jan-15 13:22:05

My son's fingers bend back a little at the joints when he applies a tiny bit of pressure so it really does depend on your son's range of movement. It can be a case of trial and error to find the right one. Therapy putty is good at increasing hand strength though, so this may be worth a try too. There's exercises online, start with the soft one. My son used to take pilates classes which helped with his balance and core stability so this may be something which could help.

senvet Sun 25-Jan-15 16:16:06

polter I have just got my dd a thing called an UGLEE pen which sounds a bit like your silicon-bumpy pen. I got it from amazon and they were shipped from the US.

jelly there is no way the school should be forcing your child to write in a way that causing pain. They should be calling in an OT, and looking at exercises to strengthen the fingers (resistance putty etc) plus ways of allowing dc to record work without requiring writing - so have someone to write the words/answers for him.

Also I did hear that some of the tablets have options for writing on the screen with the end of a finger, which is much less painful.

Hope this helps

PolterGoose Sun 25-Jan-15 16:44:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

senvet Sun 25-Jan-15 19:40:24

sorry polter ebay.

the putty my dd had would have strengthened something, but she didn't like using it even when I hid money in it.

jelly shout if you are in reach of London and want some ideas for good independent OTs. There may be a discount for two reports for two family members...

Once I had an expert report, I found the mere reference to it tended to make meetings easier. It was as though they knew I had a big stick and said what I wanted rather than risking me beating them with it.

PolterGoose Sun 25-Jan-15 20:19:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JellyCurls Sun 25-Jan-15 21:42:33

Thanks ladies

senvet DD doesn't feel pain until things are bad so I don't know if her hands hurt, she does tire though. School trialled a laptop & key guard but funding mean it's not permanent yet. She has been discharged from everybody (OT, PT...) we have gone private for OT but she's now on Mat leave.

Will try get DS1 to use alternative pencil holds with our chunky shaped pencils but will def contact GP to try get referral

blanklook Mon 26-Jan-15 09:03:58

Think we've tried most of these over the years smile

RunAwayHome Mon 26-Jan-15 13:37:25

You might find that some of the alternative grips are less comfortable with very chunky or triangular pencils, or those with grips on - so might be worth trying those more with standard ones (or get the Twist'n'Write style, where the bit that goes between the fingers is smaller - they are slightly annoyingly thick in width of the actual pencil-tip, which is a problem for older children, but fine for little ones).

It was also recommended to me to get pens with easy-flow ink, so that I could reduce the pressure I needed when writing; some pencils are similarly easier or harder to make marks with lighter pressure, so it might be worth finding some that have the right lead to mark easily (soft?)

senvet Tue 27-Jan-15 09:29:22

Is it just mine, or do kids get engrossed with something and only notice that it hurts when they stop? Same with going out in the cold when they were younger.

Or is it that the joints just take time to swell up?

dd told to get easier flow ink pen, but they were all to cylindrical - her ideal would be a bic biro with extra bumps so she gets more sensation when holding it.

She presses the ridges on the bic into her fingers. I thought the UGLEE would do the job but it is too squishy

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