Due to ongoing Royal mail strikes, there may be delays out of our control

Writing tools to help children with cerebral palsy

Writing tools to help children with cerebral palsy

October 19, 2020

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is “the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination. It's caused by a problem with the brain that develops before, during or soon after birth” (NHS).

If you have a child with cerebral palsy they may struggle with their fine motor skills and grasping small objects, such as a pen or pencil. It is also possible for them to experience pain and so-called hand fatigue when grasping objects that are not adapted to meet their needs. 

In this blog SpecialKids Company will let you know about some of the adaptive writing tools available to help your child. It is worthwhile speaking to an Occupational Therapist to see if any of these handwriting tools can be provided through your local NHS board.

Writing tools for cerebral palsy

  • Pencil Grips
  • Pencil grips are often spongy in texture and provide a soft, comfortable non-slip grip when placed onto pencils and pens. There are a variety of types available on the market. 

  • Weighted Pens and Pencils
  • Unsurprisingly, weighted pens and pencils are heavier than standard ones. They can help to increase pencil and pen pressure without any added effort from your child. They are designed to help proprioceptive input in a child’s fingers and hands to help provide extra feedback.

  • Ergonomic Slant Writing Board
  • Children with cerebral palsy are prone to postural issues and muscle tightening, which can make it difficult to maintain postural stability in order to write. An ergonomic slant writing board can be beneficial for some children. It sits at an angle and has a clamp for holding paper.

  • Writing Claw
  • Writing claws are designed to help children hold a pencil or pen and correct the positioning of their fingers. There are three caps in which your child’s fingertips can sit into to help them grip a pencil or pen. Not only should the writing claw correct the positioning of your child’s fingers, it should help to prevent a painful grip.

    cerebral palsy Pencil Grips Weighted Pens Writing Claw
  • Adaptive Technology
  • Some children with cerebral palsy are unable to use pencils and pens at all due to their muscle function, grip and range of motion. In this instance, adaptive technology is the way to go. Some useful examples are:

    • Larger key keyboards – some children find it difficult to press buttons on an average keyboard. The Big Keys LX keyboard has chunky keys, which are easier to press.
    • Eye tracking devices and communication boards – children with cerebral palsy who have limited mobility often use eye gaze technology to communicate. Communication boards with eye tracking will allow a child to use visual cues such as images to communicate words and sentences.

    AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) devices are available to help children to communicate and can also be used to help them to type. A great example is the Megabee Assisted Communication and Writing Tablet. Letters can be selected by looking and blinking. 

    We hope that you find these ideas helpful. What techniques have helped your child to write?

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.

    Also in Latest update

    How can autism impact on functional skills?
    How can autism impact on functional skills?

    December 15, 2022

    There is a saying, ‘you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism’. Every autistic person is different. Autism can impact on a child’s functional skills, the skills needed to carry out day-to-day activities, but this can vary from child to child. 

    Read More

    Teaching an autistic child on how to use the toilet
    Teaching an autistic child to use the toilet

    December 01, 2022

    Many parents of young autistic children wonder does autism affect toilet training? The truth is, it can but it doesn’t always. Let’s face it, teaching any child to use the toilet can be tricky and very much depends on your child and whether or not it is the right time for them to learn to use the toilet. Toilet training a child with autism is entirely possible and in this blog we will give you some autism and potty training tips.

    Read More

    What foods to avoid with Autism?
    What foods to avoid with Autism?

    October 25, 2022

    If you are a parent to a child with autism, you most likely have a list of foods that you avoid due to your child’s sensory needs. Perhaps they don’t like foods because of the way that they smell, feel or taste. If that’s the case, then they might already have a limited diet.

    Read More