I went to get the mail yesterday and I noticed a big envelope in it.  It was heavy and for a moment, I could not remember what I had ordered.  Until I felt it and then

I remembered!

The envelope held Michael’s summer work books.   Each summer, I always order “bridge” books for my children. This is something I have been doing since Emily was little.   The books are great because you can do a little bit each day, and they are tailor made for each grade. Historically, Michael has been less then thrilled about the worktime, but here is to hoping for this year!

I was thinking about how many summers we did these workbooks when Elizabeth was young. When she was young, because of her Dyspraxia,  she had a very hard time writing.  Each printed letter required practice to learn how to make them.   Because repetition and practice are so important  to her success, it took her a long time to learn how to write.

We had to work on how to correctly hold a pencil, where do her fingers go etc.  For children with special needs, figuring out these basics can be challenging.   Something that made this a bit harder was that she would write a letter or two, then stop, twirl her pencil a bit, think, hold her pencil again and write more.

This was so hard to watch because, she was working hard to write, but after each twirl we had to teach her again, where to put her fingers to correctly hold the pencil.  This took a great deal of time and patience  and because of her sensory issues, sometimes all the touching and talking and frustration would lead to her becoming overloaded.  And this overload would make a negative association with writing, which made her less willing to try to write the next time.

Something I wish we had when she was young was pencil grip that was tailored for special needs.  We had the regular ones, but they did not help her with her needs.  But the ones we used, a bit later in her school life, are called ” The Pencil Grip”.  These handwriting tool made a huge difference for her  (thank you, school occupational therapist!!  (OT)).

I love the pencil grips because:

  1. They come in a pack of six–  this means you can put them on many pencils at once and cut down on the time you hunt for the one pencil that had a grip on it. Hey teachers, you can even buy a 72 pack or a whole container of pencil grips!
  2. They are soft not sticky –   Some grips can feel offensive for those with sensory issues, and the Pencil Grips are smooth and soft allowing for a better grip.
  3. They are made by an OT-   So they are designed to be easy to use.  There is an R and an L on each Pencil Grip which allows both lefties and righties to use comfortably.
  4. They are actually stylish compared to the boring old school supplies-    The Pencil Grip colors are bright and inviting. The colors include metallic, glitter, neon, and original.  Honestly?, they just look so inviting you want to use them.

If you are not currently using a pencil grip but think they might be a good handwriting tool for your child, please go to our site to learn more information here.

Summer could be a good time to work on proper grip and handwriting skills. Who knows!, you may be bringing the pencil grips to school with you in the Fall for your child!  I know we were happy with them from day one!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”