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Pencil grips that work with a cast?

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    Pencil grips that work with a cast?

    I know this is a long shot, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask. My son broke his arm very badly (ulna and radius at a 90° angle plus broken elbow that wasn't displaced) and will be in a cast for a while. It's his left arm and, of course, he's left handed. He was already having issues with writing, and this is going to throw him further behind. I'm hoping that we'll get some OT out of this once the cast is removed (seems likely), but in the meantime I'm trying to find a way to help him use his arm. They've okayed him to use his hand, but he can't grip a pencil. He just can't get his fingers to grip it because of the cast (tiny hand, cast in palm). Has anyone had a similar problem and found a solution, or maybe used a pencil grip (or something else) that they think might work? I tried Googling pencil grips and arm casts, but nothing came up. This is our 5th child but our first broken bone, so I'm at a complete loss. I'll attach a picture to show what I'm dealing with cast wise. Thanks :-)

    While Arm
    Click image for larger version

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    Hand (fingers still pretty swollen)
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    ETA that the white is the original cast (it was split and opened with spacers to allow for swelling). After 1 week (Wednesday), they removed the spacers, closed the gap, and wrapped over it with the red. I think that's one reason (besides him just being tiny) that it's so thick in his palm...it's been wrapped twice.
    Last edited by Cheryl in CA; 06-02-2018, 11:53 AM.
    Cheryl, mom to:

    ds 26, graduated
    ds 25, graduated
    dd 11th Grade
    dd 8th Grade
    ds 6th Grade

    #2
    Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

    Good to hear from you. I was just thinking about you!

    Sorry to hear about your son. Those fingers still look quite swollen, so of course there is no need to push anything.

    When he is ready, you might Google "adaptive utensils" for eating. My daughter uses these every day. The thick grips and better design give her more control. We keep them in a vertical basket at her place on our table.

    Have you seen Abilitations' Egg-Ohs? This might be a temporary solution. Before spending the money, you might squeeze a pencil through a big oblong ball of clay or (non-sticky) play dough to see if it would work for him.

    Is he able to do any writing with his right hand? This might be a good time to explore that option, if he has any tendencies toward being ambidextrous! If not, I wonder if he could receive earlier help from an OT.

    Your training as a nurse will help him through this!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      Good to hear from you. I was just thinking about you!

      Sorry to hear about your son. Those fingers still look quite swollen, so of course there is no need to push anything.

      When he is ready, you might Google "adaptive utensils" for eating. My daughter uses these every day. The thick grips and better design give her more control. We keep them in a vertical basket at her place on our table.

      Have you seen Abilitations' Egg-Ohs? This might be a temporary solution. Before spending the money, you might squeeze a pencil through a big oblong ball of clay or (non-sticky) play dough to see if it would work for him.

      Is he able to do any writing with his right hand? This might be a good time to explore that option, if he has any tendencies toward being ambidextrous! If not, I wonder if he could receive earlier help from an OT.

      Your training as a nurse will help him through this!
      Thank you for answering so quickly :-) It seems like we've had one thing or another during the latter half of this year, so I've not had the time to be around much :-(

      I will look up the Egg-Ohs, thank you! Do you have links for any thick pen pencil grips that you might recommend? Here is the link for my new favorite pencil grip that I found shortly before he broke his arm. It holds the middle finger at a more natural angle than my previous favorite (the Claw).
      https://www.amazon.com/YuBoBo-Genera...firesara&psc=1

      They are saying that using his hand will help with the swelling (using the muscles helps to pump the fluid out of the tissues). So, I'm seeing what we can do. At first they were afraid of nerve damage because his arm was so displaced :-O I'm so thankful that doesn't seem to be the case!!

      His Neurodevelopmental therapist said to use his right hand and see how it goes. It will check dominance. He has always been very left handed but has adjusted to using his right hand very well, so it will be interesting to see how he writes.

      I'm pretty sure that they won't prescribe PT or OT until the cast is off, but I'll ask when we go back in 2 1/2 weeks for the next cast. Maybe some PT now and OT once his cast is off.

      The miracle has been seeing how he has coped with this. He had extreme anxiety (so extreme that he would become completely mute with any amount of stress and completely catatonic for several years when he was younger). As recently as February he had an episode when he was startled by one of our cats (he didn't see her and startled her, so she hissed and hit him but didn't claw). He went into a panic attack with complete mutism (had been a while since we'd see one so badly). The miraculous part is that he never had any anxiety throughout this whole ordeal. He remained calm, even during the 1 hour 10 minute car ride to Children's Hospital when his arm looked like a "Z" (we didn't want to take him to a local hospital, and Children's said it was a good thing we took him directly to them because of the severity). He didn't panic, cry, or get anxious. I was so afraid of regression, but he has taken it all in stride with zero fear or anxiety...which is such a miracle, and I'm so thankful!!
      Cheryl, mom to:

      ds 26, graduated
      ds 25, graduated
      dd 11th Grade
      dd 8th Grade
      ds 6th Grade

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

        Check this thingy out. Seems it can be added to eating utensils or writing instruments.

        https://www.especialneeds.com/numuv-...YaAu1AEALw_wcB
        DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
        DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
        DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

        We've completed:
        Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
        Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

          Originally posted by Colomama View Post
          Check this thingy out. Seems it can be added to eating utensils or writing instruments.

          https://www.especialneeds.com/numuv-...YaAu1AEALw_wcB
          Thank you so much!!
          Cheryl, mom to:

          ds 26, graduated
          ds 25, graduated
          dd 11th Grade
          dd 8th Grade
          ds 6th Grade

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

            Update: Something large hits the cast. I was thinking I could cut out part of the Egg OHS (remove the part where the cast is in his palm so it can fit into his hand). However, in order to write he will have to move his entire arm from the shoulder :-/ I guess I wasn't thinking that one through, LOL. Maybe once he has his elbow back in 2 weeks, but I don't want him to get into the habit of moving his elbow to write so maybe not. It was a good idea though...please tell me it was a good idea, LOL. I guess we'll work on moving and strengthening until he is cast free, then work on find motor. Thank you for the suggestions!!
            Cheryl, mom to:

            ds 26, graduated
            ds 25, graduated
            dd 11th Grade
            dd 8th Grade
            ds 6th Grade

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

              Ha! Yes, it was a good idea. But, he'll be fine with dictating things for you for awhile.

              The good news is that it's summer. He can wear muscle shirts until he's cast free. They may even soft-splint him once they take his short cast off, for a week.

              Two days after my middle turned two she broke her arm. Full length cast. My brother was terrified that his gift of plastic princess high-heels had caused the drama. Nope, just a standard two year old and a couch. It got wet in the tub, after all I was a rookie at bagging casts at this point, three days later she got a new cast. It was October. I picked out a few shirts that weren't the favorites and cut the sleeve off. She was in a cast for a few weeks. About two weeks after she had her cast removed, she broke the other arm. Yep, full length cast. I cut the other sleeve off of more shirts. That casting took longer, she wasn't healed at removal and scored herself another few weeks in a cast. I think she ended up casted for nearly two months with that one. All in all she went through five casts in three months. And she scored all new shirts because all of hers were missing one sleeve or the other. I thought we were done. Nope. We went on vacation for spring break and my son jumped from the recliner chair to the bed in the hotel room...and broke his arm. Yep. He was soft splinted at a rural clinic in the Badlands of North Dakota. We came home and he was casted by the same cast technician in the same clinic as my daughter had a few months earlier. He was looking at my brood and you could see the wheels spinning in his head. Yep, we're that family on the health insurance plan.

              I am now the proud owner of two super fancy, uber expensive, water-proof cast cover sleeve thingies, full-length of course, in two different sizes. I refuse to get rid of them. They sit on the top shelf in the bathroom in a prominent location. I figure as I long as I have them, I probably won't need them again. Cheap insurance. Ha!

              Welcome to the casting club! I recommend bringing ear protection to his first cast cut-off. Sensory kids can get overwhelmed. I also pre-medicated mine with pain reliever. They'll take an x-ray afterwards to check for healing and that can get pretty uncomfortable as they manipulate that arm around, especially since it's been immobile for awhile. Just straightening his arm will be sore for a few days as the muscles get used to stretching again.

              Oh, and be very clear that nothing gets stuffed up the cast. No pencils to itch that itchy spot and no legos because he thought it was funny when they disappeared. Trash bags, large hair ties, and packing tape are the best for tub-time. Grocery sacks are useless. Just use a new trash bag each time, trust me, its cheaper than re-casting
              DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
              DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
              DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

              We've completed:
              Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
              Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Pencil grips that work with a cast?

                Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                Ha! Yes, it was a good idea. But, he'll be fine with dictating things for you for awhile.

                The good news is that it's summer. He can wear muscle shirts until he's cast free. They may even soft-splint him once they take his short cast off, for a week.

                Two days after my middle turned two she broke her arm. Full length cast. My brother was terrified that his gift of plastic princess high-heels had caused the drama. Nope, just a standard two year old and a couch. It got wet in the tub, after all I was a rookie at bagging casts at this point, three days later she got a new cast. It was October. I picked out a few shirts that weren't the favorites and cut the sleeve off. She was in a cast for a few weeks. About two weeks after she had her cast removed, she broke the other arm. Yep, full length cast. I cut the other sleeve off of more shirts. That casting took longer, she wasn't healed at removal and scored herself another few weeks in a cast. I think she ended up casted for nearly two months with that one. All in all she went through five casts in three months. And she scored all new shirts because all of hers were missing one sleeve or the other. I thought we were done. Nope. We went on vacation for spring break and my son jumped from the recliner chair to the bed in the hotel room...and broke his arm. Yep. He was soft splinted at a rural clinic in the Badlands of North Dakota. We came home and he was casted by the same cast technician in the same clinic as my daughter had a few months earlier. He was looking at my brood and you could see the wheels spinning in his head. Yep, we're that family on the health insurance plan.

                I am now the proud owner of two super fancy, uber expensive, water-proof cast cover sleeve thingies, full-length of course, in two different sizes. I refuse to get rid of them. They sit on the top shelf in the bathroom in a prominent location. I figure as I long as I have them, I probably won't need them again. Cheap insurance. Ha!

                Welcome to the casting club! I recommend bringing ear protection to his first cast cut-off. Sensory kids can get overwhelmed. I also pre-medicated mine with pain reliever. They'll take an x-ray afterwards to check for healing and that can get pretty uncomfortable as they manipulate that arm around, especially since it's been immobile for awhile. Just straightening his arm will be sore for a few days as the muscles get used to stretching again.

                Oh, and be very clear that nothing gets stuffed up the cast. No pencils to itch that itchy spot and no legos because he thought it was funny when they disappeared. Trash bags, large hair ties, and packing tape are the best for tub-time. Grocery sacks are useless. Just use a new trash bag each time, trust me, its cheaper than re-casting
                LOL, we are that family too, but more because my children have different medical needs. This is the first broken bone we've had. I managed to get to Child #5 before breaking one, ha ha!

                Wow, it sounds like that was one eventful summer!! Did you get to know the cast guy on a first name basis? Thanks for the tips! So far, all his shirts fit over his cast (he likes t-shirts, and the sleeves are big enough to accommodate the cast). I have french bread bags (thicker than grocery or garbage bags) that are perfect for going over his cast for showering. We were thinking garbage bag, but then my daughter suggested the bread bag. It was a lucky break (ha ha) that we happened to have them. Glad Press and Seal works great over the end to keep it water tight. So far we haven't gotten it wet, yay! He's been told that nothing goes inside, so hopefully we won't have any disappearing Legos (oh my, so funny now, but I'll bet that it wasn't at the time!). If you can believe it, he hasn't really had any pain. If my arm looked like a Z, you can bet I'd be in pain! But, I'll still give him some Tylenol. I'll try ear plugs, but I'm not sure he'll want them in. He's far more disturbed by how things feel (tags, etc) than by noises, but we'll try.

                Thanks so much :-)
                Cheryl, mom to:

                ds 26, graduated
                ds 25, graduated
                dd 11th Grade
                dd 8th Grade
                ds 6th Grade

                Comment


                  #9
                  OMG, a blast from the past came up when I went searching for answers to my questions about writing accomodations. Ha! And yes, it's the same daughter with the broken arm. Ninja Warrior she is not!
                  I am going to swing by the special needs store and see what they have.
                  DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
                  DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
                  DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

                  We've completed:
                  Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
                  Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                    OMG, a blast from the past came up when I went searching for answers to my questions about writing accomodations. Ha! And yes, it's the same daughter with the broken arm. Ninja Warrior she is not!
                    I am going to swing by the special needs store and see what they have.
                    Oh my, I hope you can find what you need and that she heals quickly! So far we've only had the one broken arm (albeit 2 bones in 3 places, LOL), and I hope to keep it that way!
                    Cheryl, mom to:

                    ds 26, graduated
                    ds 25, graduated
                    dd 11th Grade
                    dd 8th Grade
                    ds 6th Grade

                    Comment

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