Writing tools that could benefit special needs kids
Occupational therapists use a lot of tools to improve handwriting skills in children with special needs. They help identify the reasons why handwriting breakdown is taking place and provide kids with writing tools to build their confidence and self-esteem.Here are some of the most commonly used writing tools:
Hand strength and manipulation skills are essential to developing good handwriting. Using putty is a fun way of carrying out strengthening activity. It is a motivating strengthening tool and offers different levels of resistance. It also helps build grasp strength in kids, it can also build up their manipulation and bilateral coordination skills. Choose from Theraputty products available here.
2. Mechanical Pencils
Many special needs kids apply too much pressure when using pencils and this causes the lead to break a lot. They get frustrated by having to constantly sharpen their pencils. Mechanical pencils help kids work on regulating the amount of pressure they use during handwriting. It helps them learn that if they use less pressure, the tip of the pencil won’t keep breaking.
3. Triangular Grip
Younger children who struggle with developing age-appropriate grasp find triangular grip very useful. Kids with special needs are more likely to use tripod-like grasp and therefore, the triangular shape helps them naturally get used to only three fingers to hold them.
4. Raised Line Alphabets
Raised line alphabet sheets help those with special needs align the letters correctly, in relation to the baseline, top line and middle dotted line. The tactile raised outline helps give structure to the correct formation of the letter. Kids can begin by tracing the letter, then color it and then draw within the lines. This works as a great teaching tool. You can purchase raised line alphabets sheets here.
5. The Writing C.L.A.W
The writing C.L.A.W is a fun and effective way to teach young children how to hold their pencil correctly. It is perfect for children with autism, ADHD, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities and general fine motor delay. It allows students to focus on good handwriting, rather than the mechanics of holding the pencil. This leads to an efficient pencil grasp and improved handwriting. You can purchase the writing C.L.A.W here.
6. Twist ‘n Write Pencils
The Twist ‘n Write Pencils have been specifically designed to fit smaller hands and bring back the fun in writing. It is shaped like a wishbone and teaches tripod hold. The unusual and curvy design are tempting for kids to pick it up and start doodling. It’s fun to use and comfortably fits children’s hands for tension-free writing. It also helps those with fine motor skill difficulties. You can find Twist ‘n Write Pencils here.
If your special needs child is facing difficulty in writing, talk to their teacher about including these helpful writing tools to help them gain confidence and improve their grasp.