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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:24 pm
Posts: 160
Hi - I picked up rather late that my DD is holding her pen in a very strange way - this makes for rather messy writing and lack of speed. She's Y6 and I reckoned with stress of exams et al not to change anything til afterwards......

But keen to do so - any advice as to where to look for advice on this and whether there is a good book she could work through? Or something on the internet/youtube?????

I'm hoping that a few weeks of application both hers and mine, will sort it!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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what sort of pen is she using?

PS there are some videos on a well known video channel that might help


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
My DD holds a pen really weirdly. I tried to sort is out before she started school, thinking that the school would continue the good work. Didn't happen :(
Her writing isn't too bad when she thinks about it. The only problem is if she thinks about the handwriting, everything else like spelling and punctuation go to pot.

I've given up trying to get her to hold the pen correctly tbh.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
My dd2 holds a pen strangely too; I think it is because she is left handed and trying not to smudge the letters she has just written.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:16 am 
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Don't get me started on this one, I wonder what on earth primary teachers are doing when I see the way ours hold a pen, especially when they then have the gall to complain about handwriting on end of term report.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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You could try and do a quick fix with a pen that kind of forces you to hold it the right way - e.g. a Stabilo ergo pen - and also look on the internet for some videos that show the right arm, wrist and hand position (it might not just be the way that she holds the pen itself that is odd).

You can also search around for a private occupational therapist, if you have the spare dosh, and find one that is interested and experienced in handwriting. They won't just tackle it from the pen end - but look at all the underlying physical reasons for a strange grasp to have been adopted and provide exercises to counter them e.g. shoulder girdle strength, strengthening the arches of the hands, certain fine or gross motor skills, balance etc etc.

Apparently there are some non-standard grasps that are just as effective though - so you might be despairing for nothing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Might be worth checking dyslexia action web site for ideas - not suggesting your DC has these problems but children who are dyslexic often have problems with handwriting so they might have suggestions.
If its not too uncool then start with following wavy, jagged line pattern across the page to get flowing movement.
Also try a writing slope - can be purchased online or DIY with a flat surface raised up by attaching a block of wood.
Sometimes learning cursive style can help.
Certainly get the handwriting sorted away from creative writing - old fashioned copying and dictating allow concentration on one thing at a time.
Last thing! - a cartridge pen can be better than gel or 'biro'.
OOps one more thought - make sure shoulders are loose and relaxed before you start.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
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Location: N London
My ds is left handed and contorts himself to hold his pen all curled around it :!: as a left hander myself I understand the problems, but when we tried to start correcting this back in year 3, his teacher at the time told us in no uncertain terms to let sleeping dogs lie. However, this thread has reminded me to think about it again, I can just see lots of shoulder pain in the future, not to mention unreadable handwriting.....


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:24 pm
Posts: 160
Fantastic advice here.... going to focus on later this term.... I think it's really good to sort in year 6 when no real demands on them once secondary school is finalised.......so will wait until after early March - and time for a breather too!

Any other tips gratefully received - or experiences of relearning successfully?.

We did talk to DD teacher who said it would be good to change as she'd find it hard to ever write fast like this - and DD still uses a pencil so actually doing all these exams and only using a pen on the day has been a bit of a shock!!!!

So advice on good pens or any books very gratefully received - Like the idea of looking at the dyslexia website (she definitely isnt but they'll have thought handwriting through) and getting a slope and looking at the odd video online.....

A huge thank you to everyone! Love this website - such amazing expertise accumulated.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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I am sure there is no reason why one should not relearn successfully - just as one can change poor technique playing a musical instrument or a sport. The trick is though to have a good teacher and a willing student. It's not always easy to get both. Also there maybe some physical reasons why the child has adopted the poorer technique - you may need to look beyond the hand and wrist and pen for some answers - this is where an occupational therapist comes in.


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