Handwriting – a skill that most people take for granted – can be an overwhelming struggle for students who lack the right fine motor skills.
Children with autism, certain learning disabilities and related challenges are among those who have the greatest difficulty mastering the process of handwriting. Adapted writing utensils such as weighted pens and pencils can help alleviate this barrier to their academic success and overall well-being.
How a Weighted Pen Helps
A weighted writing utensil is a simple and effective solution to numerous challenges that stand in the way of students making progress on a day-to-day basis. The related advantages include:
- Relief from fatigue, as children don’t have to use as much strength when writing. For those with poor sensory feedback, a weighted pen can actually help to build this strength.
- Steadiness for hand tremors. The heavy weight helps to steady the hand so students can write properly and legibly.
Extra weight in a writing utensil provides added proprioceptive input, which alerts students to the fact that they are holding something and gives them extra input about where the pen or pencil is in their hand.
An Easy Fix
Occupational therapists who have successfully worked with weighted pens and pencils note that they can be easy and inexpensive to make. They suggest using colorful gummy grips in students’ favorite colors, along with metal nuts or plumbers’ O rings, which are an inexpensive purchase at local dollar and hardware stores, respectively.
Are you looking for additional tools, ideas and resources to enhance your school-based therapy career – or seeking your next job move?
Consider partnering with the Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services team. We’re not just recruiters and career coaches; we’re therapists ourselves. Read our related posts or contact us today for more information.