I recently completed kindergarten screenings for a few private schools. I look for age appropriate copying skills, pencil grasp, sensory motor, fine motor and self help skills. One of the most "flagged" areas is pencil grasp. Yes, about 50-70% of our kindergarten kids are not using a functional pencil grasp. Why is holding your pencil correctly so important? The way we hold a pencil determines how much pencil control we have as well as which muscles are being utilized during handwriting. Holding a pencil ineffectively changes handwriting/coloring from a task using finger muscles to a task using the large muscles of the hand, arm and shoulder. The latter causes muscle fatigue, especially as they reach 2nd grade. How can you help?
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
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