Thursday, August 25, 2011

Get a GRIP! [part 1]

It's already a busy start to the school year!  Students are trying to get back into a good school day routine with some help from parents and teachers.  As you review skills from the previous year, please pay attention to your students' pencil grasp and help them correct it if needed.  Learning to use an efficient 3-finger grasp will help to decrease hand fatigue and improve overall legibility of written work.  A 3-finger, or "tripod" grasp looks like this:

Examples of inefficient grasps would include a fisted grasp.... 

or a thumb wrap grasp.

These 2 examples are inefficient because they will quickly lead to hand fatigue and also decrease control needed for letter formation, coordination, and legibility.  HABITS FORM QUICKLY!!  Believe me, there are LOTS of kids who already have strong grasp pattern habits formed before they ever enter kindergarten. Breaking those habits is really, really difficult and sometimes seems impossible.   It's important to train children to use an effective grasp when they are old enough to hold a pencil so that they can be successful writers as they get older.

 For the next couple of days, I'm asking you to take note of your kiddos' pencil grip and notice if it is an efficient 3-finger grip or some other inefficient grip.  Check back for part 2 of "Get a Grip!" so that you can learn some simple methods to teach a proper grip and/or remediate to correct a grip that needs some improvement.  I think you'll find that there are some simple ways to help your kids!

Jen Dermody, OTR/L


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