Waukegan Public School District 60
   
Occupational and Physical Therapy
 
       
 
Hand Writing: Grasp Patterns

Between the ages of 3-6 a student should develop a tripod grasp pattern on their writing utensil. In this grasp pattern, the pencil rests on the 3rd digit (middle finger) and is held in place by the thumb and the 2nd digit(pointer finger). The pencil should be held about 1/2 to 1 inch from the lead or tip of the writing utensil. This mature grasp pattern allows for the maximum amount of control with the least amount of energy.

Mature Tripod Grasp Pattern

Mature Tripod Grasp Pattern

 

Less mature patterns such as Quadrapod grasp cause faster finger/hand fatigue and times cause decreased letter formation quality.

Quadrapod Grasp Pattern

Quadrapod Grasp Pattern

 

If it is not broken, don't fix it!

Do not try to change a grasp pattern unless it is causing the writing to be hard to read or the student fatigues quickly while writing. Many children and adults use grasp patterns that are not a dynamic tripod, but do not have writing deficits. Changing the grasp pattern may cause the person to have writing difficulties.

 
     
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