Writing with cerebral palsy — Scope | Disability forum
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Writing with cerebral palsy

daniellelinleyx Community member Posts: 10 Connected
edited November 2019 in Cerebral palsy
My little girl who is 4 years old has cerebral palsy, she’s recently started mainstream primary school, and has settled in really well. She has also had Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy “SDR” surgery and has since made great improvements. 
We had an ISAR meeting this morning at the school, and we’ve identified she’s finding writing, mark marking, gripping pens / pencils hard - I’m just wanting some idea of how to make things easier? And if this problem is something that could get better over time or something we’re always going to struggle with? Will this affect her ability to write and understand letters / numbers? 
Many thanks.


  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @daniellelinleyx and a very warm welcome to the community! That's great to hear that your daughter has settled in! It's very possible that an occupational therapist could work with her on stuff like this, and provide equipment that would make things easier for her. 

    Does your daughter have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)? If not, this would be a great thing to get in place and would allow her to access more support. These plans would also transfer to high school and stay with someone until they are 25-years-old.

    Here is some information about an EHCP.

    I'm also tagging @Richard_Scope who is our cerebral palsy specialist. :)

  • daniellelinleyx
    daniellelinleyx Community member Posts: 10 Connected
    We do have an occupational therapist, and she’s been into school already. My daughter has an adapted chair for table top activities, and lunch time. The OT has just gone on maternity leave and my daughters case has been passed onto somebody else - who I’m still waiting to hear from. I am going to contact the health centre where they are based & try get in touch myself and see for the OT to go back into school and look at the writing kind of things.
    meanwhile, the school are putting things in place which are gong to help her - which is good. 
    I’m not sure if she has an EHCP or not, I’m going to ask when picking her up from school this afternoon. 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @daniellelinleyx, I'm glad to hear she does have some support in place. If you don't know then she probably won't have an EHCP as you are part of the process. This outlines the support she needs and ensures by law that she get the correct things.

    An OT should be able to provide things like a writing slope or pencil grips that can make it easier for your daughter. :)

  • Phil82
    Phil82 Community member Posts: 50 Connected

    How timley I have just been into school today about my son who's 7.

    He struggles with his handwritting like me, he can grip a pen but our problem is we grip it to tight. He has problems such as getting his d's and b's mixed up, or writting the number 3 backwards. Also his writting is just very imature he doesn't form his letter properly and finds a quick/lazy way of doing it. Also his hands get very tight and he has to have lots of breaks to stretch his hand.

    He knows how to spell words but then struggles to write them I think because he has to concentrate so hard on making the correct shapes/movements.

    This year I bought him Pencil grips and that seems to have helped a bit it makes him raise his hand up a bit more.

    His teacher has been really good about it especially because I don't have a diagnosis and gives him extra time or if he doesn;t finish a piece of written work as long as he can see he has been working and trying he doesn;t make a deal of him not completing it. This has helped a lot because last year he was very stressed that he wans't quick as other people and had to stay behind sometimes.

    I bought a book about techniques to practice which is aimed at kids with dyspraxia. I can;t get him to do it at home as he's so reluctant and just gets stressed but school said if I send it in they might try it with him. I am also due to see the pediatrician next week to discuss his motor skills next week so will see what they suggest.


  • Andrew_Hardman
    Andrew_Hardman Community member Posts: 7 Connected
    Admittedly it's a long time since I had handwriting at school but when I was at school I had difficulties handwriting.
    Mum bought gel pens for me to use which already had grips on them. she also got me thick pencils that were triangular in shape and also special pens for left handers.  I would give amazon a go see what you can find.  on a side note I use uni ball pens now as I find that they are really good.  to help me practice my writing mum would get me to write daily journals.

    otherwise its just practice practice practice 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @daniellelinleyx, how are you getting on? :)


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