Our teenage client was struggling to hold pens and pencils after an accident affected her grip. There are a great many pen and pencil holding gadgets on the market, but they tend to be geared towards holding a pen in the recommended way, and our client was unable to do this.
Most of us are familiar with foam cutlery tubes – and it is possible to buy a size that has an approx 6mm bore down the middle. What we then did is mark the finger positions, and then sculpt indentations precisely where they are required. Whilst a craft knife or sandpaper could be used to do this, a Dremel with a sanding drum attachment allows rapid, accurate, neat and gradual sculpting until the best possible shape and depth of grip is found.
This approach is FAR easier and faster than trying to create a custom moulding (from something like Sugru or PolyMorph) and has the following advantages:
- Generally speaking, the foam tube on its own will improve the situation, but may be too large a diameter for fine writing control – but it just needs a little bit of the foam removing to get a good result
- Once sculpted with the correct finger grips, it’s easy to make several copies for commonly used pens and pencils
- The foam can be transferred to other pens and pencils without any tools
- Cutlery type foam is closed cell and washable
- It gives a very comfortable and secure grip
- This can be done easily and safely at the client’s home (though using a Dremel creates fine dust and is best done into some sort of bag or bin outside!)
- It requires less co-operation from the client than trying to encourage them to help with a moulding process
This is the second project we have undertaken where this approach has worked quickly and successfully, when nothing else did.
Our client was able to hold pens and pencils securely, in readiness for the start of a college course.