All posts by Therapro

Tips for Choosing Your Pencil Grip from Gail Kushnir, MA OT, B.Ed

On February 2, 2020 Therapro was happy to host another successful webinar, Let’s Do It Write! Writing Readiness presented by Gail Kushnir, MA OT, B.Ed. During this webinar many writing readiness topics were discussed including the use of pencil grips. Gail noted the purpose of a pencil grip is to provide maximum support to the child in order to allow skill, stamina, and speed while handwriting. With a vast array of grips available, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Gail simplified the process with these basic rules:

  • Too much flexibility and instability….use a grip with firm support like the Bulb Grip
  • Ectopic Dermatitis or physical anomalies….use a tube that increases the circumference of the pencil

Still not sure, check out Therapro’s Get a Grip on Grips Handy Guide!

Feifer Assessment of Writing

The Feifer Assessment of Writing (FAW) goes beyond standard handwriting measures to help practitioners truly understand the factors contributing to handwriting difficulty. The FAW allows practitioners to answer the “why”!   By understanding the factors contributing to handwriting difficulty, practitioners are better equipped to develop treatment plans that are efficient and that adequately address the underlying cause of difficulty.

What’s Measured?

The FAW is comprised of ten subtests (and two additional, optional, subtests) designed to identify and differentiate amongst the three subtypes of dysgraphia.  The subsets are: (*indicates subtest used in the Feifer Assessment of Writing Screening Form (FAW-SF))

  • Alphabet Tracing Fluency*
  • Motor Sequencing*
  • Copying Speed
  • Motor Planning
  • Executive Working Memory*
  • Isolated Spelling*
  • Retrieval Fluency
  • Sentence Scaffolding
  • Homophone Spelling
  • Expository Writing
  • Copy Editing (optional)
  • Story Mapping (optional)


PurposeA diagnostic achievement test used to examine the underlying processes that support written language skills in order to identify the presence of a written language disorder and to identify the specific subtype of dysgraphia.Identify children at risk for developmental dysgraphia Can be used as progress monitoring tool
Key Areas of FocusThree subtypes of written language disorder: Graphomotor dysgraphiaDyslexia dysgraphiaExecutive dysgraphiaK-1st grade: Graphomotor demands of the writing process  Grade 2 & above: Cognitive-linguistic demands of the writing process
Age RangePre-K- CollegeGrades kindergarten through college 
TimePre-Kindergarten: 15 minutesGrades K- 1: 20 minutes Grades 2+: 55-65 minutes K-1st grade:15-20 minuteGrades 2 and above: 20 minutes
Scores YieldedProvides an overall Total Index & three target index scoresGraphomotor IndexDyslexic IndexExecutive IndexProves a single index score that indicates the risk for dysgraphia or a written language learning disability and the need for further assessment. 

Transition Planning Inventory-3 Overview & Review

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 1990 instituted a transition mandate for students receiving special education services.  IDEA 2004 expanded on this to include planning across all areas including community participation, independent living, and continuing education. The Transition Planning Inventory, now in its 3rd edition, was designed to address these mandates. As described in the TPI-3 Administration and Resource Guide, the primary purpose of the TPI-3 is “to assess the transition needs, strengths, preferences, and interest of students at the secondary level” (Patton & Clark, 2021, 14*)   The domains covered within the TPI-3 are working, learning, & living. 

Information is gathered from:

Core Rating Forms 

  • Three forms (Student, Home, and School) Each form contains 57 statements related to transition planning.
  • Each form is organized according to 11 planning areas; Career Choice & Planning, Employment Knowledge & Skills, Post Secondary Training/ Education, Functional Communication, Self Determination, Independent Living, Personal Money Management, Community Involvement & Usage, Leisure and Recreation, Health, & Social/Interpersonal Relationships.

Preference &  Interest Forms

  • Intended to gather information about a students preference and interest
  • Two versions available; basic (intended to be used early in the transition process) and advanced (intendended to be administered when a student is close to leaving school).
  • An optional Home Preference and Interest Form is also available.

Information is compiled through:

Profile & Further Assessment Recommendation Form

  • All information is summarized on this form consisting of 6 sections; 1.) general information, 2.) likely setting for postsecondary outcomes, 3.) student’s preference, interests, and strengths, 4.) results of other assessments, 5.) student profile, 6.) further assessment and information.

Summary of Performance Data

  • The purpose of this form is to give users a quick and easy way to compile the information required by IDEA into a Summary of Performance (SOP) document.  

Overall, the TPI-3 provides a comprehensive means to gather key information from all major players in order to create and implement a meaningful transition plan.

Quick Facts

Age Range: 14-21

Administration Time:
Student Rating Form:

  • 15-20 minutes to complete independently
  • 25-30 minutes if administered orally and/or with support.

The Home Core Rating:

  • 15-20 minutes to complete independently
  • 25-30 minutes if administered orally and/or with support.
  • The School Rating Form 10-12 minutes

Student Performance & Interest Form:

  • 10 to 15 minutes to complete independently
  • 20-25 minutes if administered orally and/or with guidance.

Profile & Further Assessment Recommendation Form

  • 10-15 minutes

Publication Year: 2021

James R. Patton
Gary M. Clark

Administration Type: Individual

Scoring: Inventory rated on a scale from 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree)

*Patton, J. R., & Clark, G. M. (2021). Transition Planning Inventory Administration and Resource Guide (3rd ed.). Pro-Ed.