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Pencil Grip

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I see so many articles and statements about the dynamic tripod grasp being the one that should be used, and that you need to have a child learn to use that grip.

I think that’s rubbish.

Yes, the dynamic tripod is the most efficient, but many grasps can be just as efficient if they are the preferred grasp for that particular person.

Typical kids who use a pattern other than tripod are just as efficient in class as their peers who use a tripod.

Here is a list of the handwriting grasps:

  • Tripod
  • Dynamic tripod
  • Adapted tripod
  • Quadrupod
  • Gross grasp
  • Digital pronated
  • 5 finger
  • Thumb tuck
  • Thumb wrap
  • Tripod with closed web space
  • Finger wrap


The adapted tripod uses the least amount of muscle strength.

handwriting 7web

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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  1. Hi, I am curious about the writing abilities of those people who do not use the correct tripod. The pencil being held between the thumb and index finger, while the middle finger acts as a support.

    I have been reading ” The myth of Lazyness” in that book Dr. levine describes that the proper pencil grip gives the feed back needed for gluenteffgortless writing that doesn’t require too much input from the eyes for feed back.

    I would be interested in your experience and ideas on the matter.

    1. There has been research done on the way people hold their pencils, and has been found that there is no difference with speed and fluency for typical people between the functional grasps. Most important is that it is the grasp that they have developed and have the motor memory and fluency with.

    2. As a child I had warts on my fingers and hands and the only way I could write ✍ was the adapted tripod way. My work was neat but my wrist would start paining often. This is only my experience as everyone differs. 😊

  2. Does length of time taken crawling by a baby have anything to do with handwriting when the baby starts writing

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