FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions About the Writing Rascal

What is the "dynamic tripod grasp"?


Answer: The dynamic tripod grasp is the most stable grasp for precision and proper pencil or pen pressure during writing. The parts of this grasp include the thumb, index finger and middle finger. The dynamic tripod grasp separates the radial and ulnar sides of the hand to provide the most efficient posture for writing. The radial side of the hand, namely the thumb, index finger and middle fingers, is generally referred to as the precision side of the hand. The ulnar side of the hand, namely the ring finger and the little finger is referred to as the power side of the hand. Support from the power side enables the precision side to work in dynamic harmony for writing. 


What does it mean when my child's teacher or therapist says that my child does not hold a pencil with a dynamic tripod grasp?


Answer: If your child is not using a dynamic tripod grasp it means that your child does not have a mature grasping pattern which includes the thumb, index finger and middle finger.  Your child is unable to appropriately maintain the optimal hand position for writing.  This difficulty may impact his/her ability to produce legible handwriting with age appropriate hand muscle endurance.


How do we achieve the dynamic tripod grasp?


Answer: To achieve a dynamic tripod grasp with the precision side of the hand during writing, an individual must pinch the pencil or pen between the distal pads of the index finger and thumb and then rest the pencil or pen on the lateral distal inter-phalangeal joint of the middle finger.  These three fingers form the tripod.  The tripod, supported by arches in the palm of the hand, utilize precise movements of rotation, flexion and extension to achieve the small movements needed for letter formation and/or other fine motor activities requiring accuracy.  In addition, the space between the thumb and index finger, namely the web space, must be maintained in an open and circular manner to support the dynamic movements of the tripod fingers.  The ulnar side of the hand stays in a flexed and quieter position so as to provide a stable base of support from which the tripod can move.


How is the Writing Rascal different from all other pencil grips?


Answer: The distinguishing characteristic of The Writing Rascal is that it separates the two sides of the hand.  It places the precision side of the hand into a dynamic tripod grasp while simultaneously addressing the ulnar side of the hand, the power side of the hand. Many individuals, especially children,  are unable to form a dynamic tripod grasp. While many devices have been developed in the past to help such individuals, none of these devices have been able to completely solve this problem.  No other product addresses the ulnar side of the hand. The Writing rascal addresses this need and resolves it completely.