General guideline for those children with handwriting problems


This is meant as a general guideline for those children with handwriting problems.


  • Check that the child’s feet are flat on the floor and the table is at a comfortable working height (the forearms should e supported on the table).
  • Check that the paper is positioned correctly.  In general the paper should be on the same side of the body as the handwriting hand.
  • Also check that the non-dominating hand is anchoring the paper securely.  It should move down he page as the wrist moves.
  • It can be confusing for some children to be faced with unlined paper - 4 lines can be useful initially to give clues on sizes of letters and so they can appreciate the difference and relationships of letters.

Incorrect pencil grips may be resolved in a variety of ways: 

  • Investigate different types of pens/pencils.  The type of nib or size of writing barrel may affect the grip.
  • For those children who place their fingers at different points along the barrel each time the pen is picked up, an elastic band wrapped around the pen/pencil will remind them where their fingers should be placed.
  • Commercially available grips may help correct grip.

Poor Spacing of Words

  • Use fingers as prompt for spacing or have a visual prompt, i.e. lollypop stick which can be decorated.
  • Ask your child to separate words with a variety of coloured pens from previously prepared exercise.  After this, get them to re-write using correct spacing.
  • Do as above, only using wooden or felt letters.
  • Squared math’s paper can be used to give a model to work from, i.e. 2 squares to be left blank between words.

Excessive Pressure in Writing

  • Try putting several sheets of carbon interleaved with paper and encourage your child to only go through one copy. Get them to practice ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ strokes so they get some feed-back on the difference.
  • In addition any work on improving general hand strengthening and finger dexterity will help with writing.
  • If the wrist is ‘hooked’ in writing (more common in left handers) or the hand is held up from the page, a writing slope may be useful.

Resource Tags


  • Handwriting
  • Incorrect Pencil Grips
  • Poor Spacing of Words
  • Excessive Pressure in Writing