Episode 113: How to Help Kids who Struggle with Handwriting

Many children on the spectrum can have dysgraphia (see Podcast Episode 86 for more information). The Kids’ Guide to Getting Your Words on Paper by Lauren Brukner is an excellent resource that acts as a self-help guide to writing for kids. I would absolutely use this book with my whole class as it has great reminders of how to help students with their writing. Jump to: info for adults.

My Top 5 Takeaways

From The Kids’ Guide to Getting Your Words on Paper by Lauren Brukner

Hand warm up exercises

Menu of writing strategies – big body stuff i.e. foot stool, exercise band, pencils, cushion and more!

Importance of our eyes to make wiritng easier. Try different types of paper – colours, line sizes, even graph paper. One of my favourite activities in the book is I-Spy Bean Bags (page 41)

There are lots of other fun activities, including a great one for Reversals (page 48-50)

Writing strategies for when your hands feel tired. In the book includes:

  • Slantboards
  • Pencil grips – I am a HUGE fan and have sourced my favourite ones on my website for you (I found kids didn’t like the hard triangle ones and they caused SOOO much frustration!)
  • Erasable pens – these are just AWESOME 

The Kids’ Guide to Getting Your Words on Paper

| by Lauren Brukner | Does your hand ache when you write? Packed with fun and simple ideas to help kids feel good about writing, this handwriting book with a difference helps children embed the strength and skills they need to get the most out of their written work, at home and school! Armed with the strategies and exercises in this book, kids will be well on their way to writing with greater ease, and the positive self-esteem that goes along with that. Suitable for children with writing difficulties aged approximately 7 to 12.


20 in stock

For Adults

Part 2 of the book is for Grown Ups & includes fabulous visual menus like the ones I love in Lauren’s other books for regulating emotions. Learn more with Lauren Brukner on Podcast Episode 71!

Plus great templates and time savers including some lovely paper options that would look great on different colours.

Handwriting Ideas

This book is such a great reminder that writing is more than HAND WRITING and it is like exercise – you have to get writing fit!! Just like at the gym I need to do stretches, cardio, weights and a range of exercises & equipment. AND rest! Plus I need to do consistently. I know if I don’t go to the gym for a few weeks my fitness goes backwards… sadly faster these days 😉

Just like exercise, writing needs warm up, big body activities, equipment, exercises, rest & consistency.

So think about how can you implement consistency in your classroom without it being ANOTHER thing on the to do list everyday. Some ideas:

Make videos the kids can follow along with as they complete the activities (i.e. they don’t just rely on you).

OR get the kids to take videos of themselves as a they do the activity as a reminder

You could even make your own bookmark reminders like the ones on page 115

You probably have a group of students who need these strategies so why not have a “club” and they can do it together! Some of my students need to know they are not alone

Make a wheel of activities! Some of you would have seen the ones I make for emotional regulation

Don’t forget activities like Dot to Dots, Where’s Wally and I-Spy games are all important for writing NOT just hand writing activities! This is where I love Sally McNamara’s book The Motor Skill Flip-Book Program too as it has fabulous activities for the whole body. 

Let’s make writing FUN. This book is a must have for every school… I am seeing students from Kindergarten to Year 12 who need to develop their writing skills. I know I have a daughter in year 12 and at the parent teacher interviews they all said she needs to build up her handwriting for exams – this is because she does 90% of her work on computer. Plus I don’t know about you but my handwriting is terrible … oops!

Pencil Grips – 3 Types

Pencil Grips: standard, cross-over or pinch grip | For left and right handers.

Speed, legibility and endurance of handwriting are influenced by the way a child holds their pencil. Pencil grips help the child maintain a position of stability to allow for efficient mobility and improved handwriting. The BIG advantage of our pencil grips is children like the feel of them as they are large, soft and moulded to fit your fingers – unlike the hard triangle types and the smaller types. The ergonomic design also provides relief of hand fatigue and pain. #1 Grip recommended by therapists to help kids write.

  • The Standard Grip is the original ergonomic writing aid and it continues to set the standard. It is simplistic in design but highly effective.
  • The Crossover Grip uses the same great design as the Standard Grip but with added wings to prevent fingers from crossing over each other.
  • The Pinch Grip balances the structure of the Crossover Grip with the freedom of the Standard Grip. Gently encourages fingers and hand to rest in the proper position. It’s a transitional that bridges the gap between the Crossover and Standard Grips.

The Grips can be used as a three step process starting with Crossover, then Pinch Grip and finally Standard.




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