Most parents in the spectrum report that tasks related to fine motor skills can be a challenge for autistic children. Drawing, and writing can be difficult however, weighted pencils have shown to be the answer to improve hand coordination.
What Are Weighted Pencils?
Weighted pencils are considerably heavier and thicker than a regular pencil, thus designed to provide proprioceptive input in a child’s fingers and hands so he/she can respond accordingly. It is also an excellent way to increase pencil pressure without any effort from the child.
How Do Weighted Pencils Work?
Weighted pencils help with coordination because the added weight and volume to the item helps the child respond easier to the stimuli, thus improving movement skills.
Autism and Proprioception
Weighted pencils are also a key to improve proprioception in Autism.
Proprioception refers to a person’s ability to properly develop an awareness and control of their movements. Since up to 80 percent of children with autism have motor coordination issues, weighted pencils result in a great solution to implement to your child´s academic arsenal.
Benefits of Weighted Pencils in Autism
Weighted pencils can result in several benefits that go far beyond coordination:
- Developing gross and fine motor skills
- Improving handwriting
- Helping aid in academic performance
- Encouraging the child to write more often
- Decreasing frustration and promoting self-confidence
- Making writing a positive experience
DIY Weighted Pencil
If you don’t want to purchase a weighted pencil, here is how to create one at home!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Number 2 pencil
- Duct tape
- Craft foam
- 2 7/16 O-Ring
- 1 3/8-16 Coupling Nut
Step 1: Slide the coupling nut onto the number 2 pencil. Don’t place it too high nor too low. Find a good spot in the middle of the pencil to achieve correct weight distribution.
Step 2: Wrap the coupling nut with foam sheets to add comfort
Step 3: Wrap duct tape around the coupling nut
Step 4: Place black O-Rings on top and bottom of coupling nut to stabilize weight inappropriate placement (add more O-Rings as you see fit)
Tip: Use different weights to match the child’s age, size, and hand strength.
Although we can not emphasize enough the benefits of weighted pencils, their benefits as any other item, are just a tool in your arsenal. Targeting the cause of the problem, which in most cases involves fine motor skills and kinesthetic awareness, is a better way to achieve this goal.
Stem Cell Therapy is an incredible way to improve motor skills coordination, for stem cells re-connect specific clusters of neurons, increasing brain plasticity. This reunion, in addition to improved muscle tone and increased strength, can be translated into better coordination, increased fine motor skill implementation, and overall decreased autistic behaviors .
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with Stem Cell Therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation, and improving brain function. We also created an on Facebook that is destined to offer support and companionship for ASD parents and their families on their journey.
Remember, you are not alone!