Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Increased concerns for tech-savvy kids who can’t hold a pen:

More and more kids are requiring therapy
By Expert Tips
Date: March 29 2017
Editor Rating:
Pilotpen hero

Occupational Therapist Katrina Davies says that she has seen a significant increase in the number of school aged children requiring occupational therapy to help improve their hand strength and motor skill development and worries this number will increase with NAPLAN tests to be moved to an online format this year.

“If the focus is turned to typing instead of writing in the classroom, we will find that children will leave school with illegible writing. Children are already getting to year 12 without teachers realising that their handwriting is so poor that HSC markers will not be able to read it. Assignments and assessments are already being completed on the computer in high schools and handwriting is being missed until the last minute,” she says.

“Children are growing up without the strength in their hands or arms to hold a pen or pencil for any length of time.  They are missing their key milestones and are at risk of lagging behind,” she says.

She says many children are simply unable to use the ideal ‘dynamic tripod grasp’ to hold a pencil or even use a basic pincer grasp to pick up small items because they are so used to tapping away on a keyboard or touch screen they haven’t had the opportunity to develop their foundational fine motor skills.

“Handwriting is still an essential part of our society and it will be for many years to come. Writing is a mix of underlying skills and these skills are essential for other life areas,” she says.

“We are seeing a generation of children who need more help learning the foundational skills that should develop naturally through early childhood play. We are seeing children’s handwriting decrease in quality and legibility due to the lack of the underlying skills and development. We are seeing a generation of children who have such poor hand endurance that they cannot maintain a writing process for prolonged periods of time.”

Ms Davies says that parents can help by limiting screen time and encouraging play, drawing and handwriting practice.

“Learning to hold a pen or pencil and practicing drawing, and writing letters can give children the right tools to gain handwriting confidence and ability, setting them up for the rest of their lives.”

Ms Barbara Oliver, marketing manager for Pilot Pen Australia said that the company had been aware of the growing problem of declining handwriting skills for some time.

“We decided to do something about it by releasing an ergonomically designed pen called ‘Dr Grip’, which features a cushioned barrel to help improve hand-strength and to encourage correct pen hold.  We also introduced the Kakuno Fountain Pen so children could practice their handwriting with the smooth flow of ink and nib, without the need for pressure,” she said.

Both pens have been high in demand since launch, and sales have been steadily increasing in the last 12 months.

For more information, go to Pilot Pen Australia:

Katrina Davies is the Occupational Therapy Manager at One Stop Allied Health & Medical Centre, in South West Sydney. For more information visit

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
0 Total Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343

Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
We might see drawing as just a fun activity, but…
Read more
If your child is learning to write, and frustrated by…
Read more

Four Great Reasons to Train as an OB/GYN
Why specialize in women's health?


The Best Ways to Soothe Your Baby
Fussy baby? Try these tips!


Four Tips to Improve Your Sleep Environment for a More Relaxing Night
Sleep like a baby!


Top Four Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable this Winter
Tips for when it gets chilly

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Img 1414 x1

Weekend Recipe: Barbecue Bananas
Surprise your guests at a summer BBQ with this no fuss-dessert that’s bursting with goodness from Australian Bananas.


Navman shows parents the…
FREE online seminar for parents on best practices for instructing a learner driver


Head to Thredbo for…
Don't miss the LEGO Friends Snow Festival!


Join LEGO Australia to…
Fans invited to celebrate May the 4th Be With You Day 2017 at Westfield Warringah


How to Plan a…
Five tips to making the most of the upcoming break