• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

pjcnet

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
When I was at school I was often criticised for holding a pen or pencil differently to everyone else. Instead of holding it in a more traditional way the pen or pencil would be held against a clenched fist by my thumb and I've never seen this method demonstrated by anyone else, not even throughout child development. Many teachers would keeping telling me it was wrong, but I would argue that it was working perfectly well for myself and I could never write comfortably or accurately when I attempted to hold it in any other way. I now type a lot more than I use handwriting, but I have never changed even as an adult and I wonder whether this is a common trait for people on the autistic spectrum.

Officially the most common and traditional way to hold a pen or pencil is called the Dynamic Tripod Grasp (sometimes just called the Tripod Grasp, Tripod Grip or Tripod Hold), please watch the video below for more details:


The Adaptive Tripod Grasp (AKA. the Adaptive Tripod Grip) is also recognised and is identical to the Dynamic Tripod Grasp in that the pencil is held between the tip of the thumb and index finger and rests on the middle finger. The main difference is that the shaft of the pencil rests in the "V" between the index and middle finger. This apparently gives an open web space which allows the fingers to move freely so that a fluid handwriting style can be achieved.

There are also a couple of other methods that are considered less efficient and are usually only used during child development:

Stages of Pencil Grasp Development - The elbowroom

Finally there's a couple of recognised methods that should only really be used for drawing or sketching which I won't detail here.

So how do you hold a pen or pencil when handwriting?
Do you think that autistic people more often use less traditional methods?
 
Last edited:

Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Yes!! I do this, too. It was something that was picked up on when I was a child by the private rededial tutor that I had, and one of the reasons she gave my parents why she thought I was autistic.

Edit: also, my handwriting was never very good - I never formed the letters properly or made nice smooth lines, I can't do cursive writing and my teacher gave up trying to get me to do it. I don't close the cricle when writing 'a' or 'o', they are all kind of uneven and misshapen, though just about legible.
 

Propianotuner

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I also was told many times that I didn't hold writing utensils properly. The way I hold it is with my index, middle, and ring finger on top and thumb underneath, straight down from the gap between my index finger and middle finger.

It seems to not take very much writing for my wrist to hurt, but I've never been able to any other way. Teachers were bothersome because they couldn't understand how much effort I was putting into the tripod method and that it simply wouldn't work.
 

Suzanne

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
My problem was not how I hold the pencil, but how much strength and was always complained of pressing too hard, but I just could not help myself.

My handwriting is dire and my hand aches so much; probably from the pressure. I, like you, do all online. Although I have now got carpel tunnel syndrom, but I just shake my hand when it gets bad, which is at night time.

I rather text than speak.
 

Chance

"all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien
V.I.P Member
I hold pens, pencils, differently. I am naturally left handed and it is neater. But as a kid I was forced to write right handed and it looks like some alien codex. I never could grasp cursive, I disliked it, never used it, still don't. My words basically all have hard left slant to them, unless the page is all crooked on the desk to where it looks more straight up and down on paper.

Thank goodness for technology.... : ) mostly don't have to worry about that anymore, just type it out and roll on with life... : )
 

pjcnet

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I hold pens, pencils, differently. I am naturally left handed and it is neater. But as a kid I was forced to write right handed and it looks like some alien codex. I never could grasp cursive, I disliked it, never used it, still don't. My words basically all have hard left slant to them, unless the page is all crooked on the desk to where it looks more straight up and down on paper.

Thank goodness for technology.... : ) mostly don't have to worry about that anymore, just type it out and roll on with life... : )
Being forced to write right handed when you're left handed is ridiculous and wrong, most people would struggle even if they were NT and it would only hold back your development. Yes, a higher proportion of people are right handed, but being left handed has no disadvantage and it's not exactly very rare either with roughly 10% of the population also being left handed. The only real disadvantage is that most hand specific products are built for right handed people which sometimes makes left handed products more difficult to get, although many have left handed versions available too even if you have to order them, for instance certain computer mice (E.g. an MMO gaming mouse). I'm right handed and I would severely struggle if I was forced to use my left hand to write or even to use a mouse.

Edit:

PS: Here's some reviews of left handed gaming mice:

Best Left Handed Gaming Mouse Reviews & Guide (2018 Edition)
 
Last edited:

Streetwise

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
My problem was not how I hold the pencil, but how much strength and was always complained of pressing too hard, but I just could not help myself.

My handwriting is dire and my hand aches so much; probably from the pressure. I, like you, do all online. Although I have now got carpel tunnel syndrom, but I just shake my hand when it gets bad, which is at night time.

I rather text than speak.
I'm exactly like you I can barely write now I think it's because of severe anxiety probably got arthritis in my hand now anyway
 

xudo

something and nothing
I hold a pen "incorrectly". Nobody really ever tried to change it though.
20180131_121255.jpg
 

Katleya

Sarcasm Lover
V.I.P Member
Until I was about 8, I held my pen like I was about to star in Psycho or something, so pretty much making a fist, looking like I was about to stab someone with my pen.
I'm left-handed, so any attempts by my right-handed teachers to guide my hand were obvious failures. It made for terrible handwriting, complete with inability to stick to the lines on the paper and the lovely ink stains that most left-handed people are familiar with. Ballpoint pens are designed to write by being dragged across the sheet, not pushed, and there's no adjustment that can be made on the grip that will change the fact that it's like scratching a cat the wrong way.

I eventually learned to hold it in my own personal way, which I'd describe as a "semi-fist", from ages 8-10, with the pen sticking out between my middle & ring finger, hand still in a fist. Afterwards, I evolved to a kind of fist, with the pen nested under my index finger.
Middle school brought along fountain pens, and we were able to find one brand of ink that dried faster than any ballpoint could, getting rid of the stains. I also decided that I would only print from now on --mind you, I was in a country that didn't teach print, and therefore didn't allow it in school, so it was quite a struggle at 10 getting teachers to accept such atypical handwriting. I think my mother was able to convince them precisely based on the fact that I was unable to hold my pen as expected, and it was the only way to have something legible.

I still hold my pen in a weird way, still use the same fountain pens I've been using since I was 10, and people actually say very often that they like my handwriting because it's so neat (it's not pretty, but it's damn efficient and legible). I still struggle with lining, but I can write perfectly straight on blank sheets, go figure.
The one thing I still have trouble with is writing on anything that involves carbon paper, again, because of the push vs. pull ossue with ballpoint pens. And I stay away from any gel pens because of that, too, the minute they're in my hand it's like they're completely dry.

Looking back, most of the pen-holding difficulties I had/have can be traced back to dyspraxia, and I have a feeling that's the case for a bunch of us here, since dyspraxia can be a comorbidity.

So, long story short: forever bad at holding pens, because of dyspraxia.
 

Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Handwriting, but not how I hold my pen, was one of the things I was asked about in my diagnostic assessment.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Never gave it a thought relative to being on the spectrum. I suppose it would be considered the "traditional" manner of holding a writing implement.

With my handwriting pretty much confined to my signature alone, with legible printing largely for grocery lists and writing checks. That's about it on a regular basis.
 

Ragnahawk

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I lock my index and middle together and lock it in place with my thumb. I guess because I liked to grip the pencil hard because I had problems with my fingers slipping.
 

pjcnet

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Thanks for everyone's answers so far.

Well it definitely appears that a high proportional of people on the autistic spectrum have their own method for holding a pen or pencil, but it also looks like there's often differences in the way many of us write too, I also print and have always struggled with join up writing. What is also really interesting is I noticed that 3 people here so far have mentioned being left handed which is well over the statistical average of roughly only 1 in 10 people in the world, so I then looked online to discover that yes, a much higher proportion of autistic people appear to be left handed. Edit: I also read that it's more common in males as well as people with several other neurological conditions such as epilepsy, Down's Syndrome, mental retardation (I don't like that word) and dyslexia.
 
Last edited:

onlything

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Exactly the same way as mine. When I'm writing, I most often than not keep the pen with my thumb against my fist. It's just comfortable for me. I have a different for drawing, however, depending on accuracy, technique etc. needed. I never cared about how others wanted me to hold my pencil. It's not their business, after all.
 

WildCat

V.I.P Member
Exactly as shown in the video above, right-handed grasp with the thumb, index and middle as a "tripod". I don't remember having done it any other way, and I've never had any problems with handwriting.
 

SchrodingersMeerkat

trash mammal
I was always told I held my pen/pencil/crayon "wrong" by school teachers. My mom taught me out how to hold my pencil and I basically told my teachers to **** off about it and they did.
 

xudo

something and nothing
I also print and have always struggled with join up writing.

My handwriting is joined up, but sometimes a little too joined up. Certain letters can look like other ones when I write them and people have occasionally had a problem reading my writing. I would say it's "bad" handwriting though.

Well I'm right handed so I hold a pen in my right hand.

Yes, but how do you hold a pen?
 

New Threads

Top Bottom