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Adapted Writing Utensils


Adapted writing utensils are used to promote an appropriate grip for writing. Common adapted writing aids include pencil grips, weighted pencils, and pens and pencils of varying sizes, shapes, and textures. Pencil grips attach to a standard pencil or pen and give the student a larger and more supported means of holding the pencil. Some students may benefit from the sensory input of a weighted pencil. Students who require a larger surface to grasp may benefit from a larger (chunky) pencil. Pencils are available in different shapes (such as triangular) to promote an appropriate grip. Students who have difficulty maintaining control of a pencil that is of standard length may benefit from using a shorter writing utensil (such as a broken crayon or golf pencil).

While many adapted writing utensils are available commercially, adaptations can be made using readily available materials. Standard washers or hex nuts can be slipped over a pencil to create weighted pencils. Custom grips can be made using Eraser Clay (Sculpey), which have the texture of an eraser or Model Magic (Crayola) which have a spongy texture that tends to harden over time. To help students maintain proper pencil position, use 2 covered rubber bands (pony tail holders) looped together. Place one band on the student’s wrist and the other band over the end of the pencil.

Adapted writing utensils may be beneficial for students who have difficulty securing and maintaining a steady grasp on a standard pen or pencil. When considering the type of adapted writing utensil that may best match a student's need, the team may consider providing the student with a variety of different adapted utensils for trial use.


 Resource Name

Web Address

Having a Comfortable Grip

Pencil Grasp Patterns

How to Hold a Pencil: The Correct Grip

Tutorials for Sculpey Clay



 Vendor Name

Web Address

Onion Mountain Technology

Pocket Full of Therapy

Therapy Shoppe


Beacon Ridge LLC


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