Handwriting with Essential Tremor

August 10, 2018

Learning to write is something that usually comes fairly simple to children. But, with a condition like essential tremor, it can be really hard to learn to write. It is important for children to have supportive parents who are patient with their children, and help them learn different techniques to help their handwriting. If essential tremor does not manifest itself until the later years of life, then it will take practice and patience to continue to be able to write. There are devices and techniques that can help those that need some assistance with keeping their hand steady while writing. 

The Readi-Steadi orthotic is a device that helps counter tremors. It is a glove that goes to about the elbow and reduces resting and action tremors in a way that is comfortable and low maintenance. After a consultation and a fitting, you can purchase the orthotic for around $150. This may seem pricey, but will be worth it in the long run and ensure independence. 

Dexteria is a fine motor skills development app that you can purchase for your phone on iTunes. It is a set of therapeutic hand exercises that help improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children and adults. This is a great way to practice on the go without needing a pencil and paper, and can also help with dexterity for other tasks, not just writing. 

If handwriting with essential tremor is a problem, there are also a few tips that you can use to make it as easy and effective as possible for you.

  • Use pencil grips or weighted pens to help steady the pencil a bit. 
  • Writing in print instead of script is usually more steady and more legible. 
  • Writing in smaller text is usually easier than writing big text and requires less steady of a hand. 
  • Make sure your forearm is on the table and to help steady it. 

Though handwriting with essential tremor may always be a hard task, there are always ways to practice and improve. If you spend time on youtube, you can watch videos about writing with essential tremor and what to do if you struggle. These videos contain great information to learn more about what handwriting with essential tremor is really like, and what real expectations for your writing skills should be. 

Handwriting is an everyday task that can become difficult with essential tremor in play. Whether it is affecting the writing of a child just learning to read and write or an adult who has written all their life, it is just as frustrating to both. Learning to be patient, and finding the correct tools to help you succeed is important. Remember to treat essential tremor first, and then find other ways to help the remaining symptoms. If writing remains a challenge, remember that typing and other forms of voice to writing technologies are available and can help you communicate what you need to without actually requiring a pen and paper. Don’t lose hope, and write on.