Weighted Pencils and Handwriting – What Does the Evidence Say?

Weighted Pencils and Handwr

Pediatric occupational therapists sometimes recommend a weighted pencil to improve handwriting legibility and increase pencil pressure but what does the evidence say?  Not much…  I found one recent study on the use of weighted pencils and handwriting.  In theory, the purpose of the weighted pencil is to provide extra proprioceptive input in the fingers and hand to help provide extra feedback.  A recent study in the Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention discussed three case studies of children who were unable to form their letters. Following the use of a weighted pencil, all 3 children demonstrated marked improvement in their ability to write.

If you are aware of other research studies on the use of weighted pencils, please send me an email.

Read more on ways to increase pencil pressure.

If you decide to recommend the use of a weighted pencil to improve handwriting legibility don’t forget to follow up after you implement the strategy.  Read 6 follow up questions to ask regarding the use of adaptive equipment in the classroom.

Read more on Proprioception and Handwriting.

Reference:  Brown, M. J. (2017). Use of weighted pencils to improve handwriting legibility. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention10(1), 52-68.

Need to check if the weighted pencil is affecting handwriting skills?  Try using a handwriting rubric.

Handwriting Rubrics

Handwriting Rubrics – This is an electronic book of 26 rubrics to assess handwriting. A rubric is a scoring guide to judge performance on a specific task. Have you ever wanted to quantify handwriting skills such as letter formation, speed or copying? Handwriting Rubrics can be used as assessment tools to quantify an individual’s written productivity. By using the rubric, each individual can be scored based on the same criteria.   FIND OUT MORE.