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Why Can't I get My Pen Licence Mum?

Pen licences, fortunately my children never had them at school and I really feel for the children who struggle to get them. We still seem to think that good handwriting is down to

practice and it's endlessly frustrating for child, parent and teacher when a child can't seem to grasp it. They may well find handwriting difficult so will resist the practising, which sets up a whole load of conflict...


What if it didn't have to be that way? Often poor penmanship is a result of retained hand reflexes and other primitive reflexes. And we can get those reflexes to integrate which means that handwriting becomes more accurate, neater and easier with little effort. But poor handwriting isn't the only problem associated with retained hand reflexes.

If hand reflexes are retained then you may see indicators. For example you may see children mouthing as they write, or sticking their tongue out. They may also be late thumb suckers or nail biters. There is a strong connection between the hands and mouth so if this reflex doesn't integrate well then it may interfere with articulation of speech and language physically, and problems with expression emotionally. There may also be an association with tics.

The physical indicators and challenges are easy to spot, but interestingly, as with all Primitive Reflexes, there are also mental and emotional connections. One of the hand reflexes, the Babkin reflex is connected to the Moro (fear reflex) and the Bonding Reflex - which helps to establish feelings or trust and security and allows us to develop both physical and emotional stability. So when this reflex is retained in the system, you may see clingy and demanding behaviour, fear of being alone, problems making friends, unaware of how they upset others but suoersensitive to being upset by others. Friendships can be really tricky! They may also be compulsive collectors. All of this behaviour represents problems with holding on and letting go.

If these reflexes are retained then they can interfere with the development of the trip-point grip that you need to hold and manipulate a pen. They may hold a pen too tightly or too loosely, which can also cause pressing too hard into the paper. There can be too much tension in the neck, arm and forearm. This can make writing exhausting.

With the right input these reflexes can be encouraged to integrate and these issues will improve or go away altogether. Rhythmic Movements which use pressure on the hands will help, also hand massage, clapping games, wool winding, putty and plasticine - pressure on the hands and manipulation of the fingers will help. Consistent, regular input is what will make the difference.

If you would like to come for a consultation then email me Niki@OrganisedMind,co,uk

If you would like to come and train in Rhythmic Movement Training course dates are on my website

I hold a talk on the second Wednesday evening of the month in Wokingham and I am happy to come and talk to your group or organisation.


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