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Handwriting & Fine Motor Support

Handwriting is one of the most complex skills children learn. It requires fine motor control, visual perception, praxis/motor planning and cognitive functions, and the integration of these functions.

If your child experiences challenges with handwriting and/or fine motor skills, they may benefit from Occupational Therapy (OT).

Does your child have:

  • Illegible handwriting?

  • Difficulty with writing speed when compared with their peers? 

  • Difficulty with letter spacing and sizing? 

  • Tire quicker than their peers? 

  • Does your child avoid writing tasks?

  • Difficulties managing buttons, zips, or snaps?

  • Pain when writing?

These can all be signs that your child has challenges with handwriting and/or fine motor skills. There are many different reasons why someone may have difficulties, and an Occupational therapist can help by assessing for the cause. For some children, it is difficulty maintaining their attention on writing tasks, for others it may be due to difficulty with fine motor coordination, or it may even be that they have handwriting problems because they struggle with visual-motor skills (processing what they see and then copying it on their paper). 

At Thrive Occupational Therapy we offer an in depth assessment into the challenges your child may be experiencing with handwriting and/or fine motor skills, and we offer both 1:1 and group support.

Importance of Handwriting 

Children at School
  • 30-60% of school day is spent handwriting and other fine motor tasks (McHale & Cermack, 1992)

  • Handwriting constitutes the primary way that elementary school students demonstrate their knowledge in all academic areas (Case-Smith 2002)

  • Despite the growing use of computers and technology in the classroom, handwriting remains an essential life skill (Feder & Majnemer, 2007; Cahill, 2009)

Implications of handwriting difficulties 

  • 10-30% of school aged children experience handwriting difficulties (Karlsdottir & Stefansson, 2002)

  • Poor legibility can interfere with teachers’ perceptions and grading of students’ written work (Briggs, 1970; Connelly, Campbell, McLean, & Barnes, 2006; Markham, 1976)

  • Slow handwriting speed can contribute to incomplete assignments or increased time to finish written work (Berninger, Mizokawa, & Bragg, 1991)

  • Academic failure as well as lowered self-esteem can result from problems associated with poor handwriting (Rubin & Henderson, 1982; Tseng & Cermak, 1993; Case-Smith 2002; Feder & Majnemer, 2007)

Storage containers for art and craft

Handwriting assessment:

For children specifically experiencing difficulty with hand-writing, an in depth assessment is recommended. This assessment includes a 45-minute handwriting assessment using standardized assessment tools with a short summary report and recommendations.

Handwriting support is suitable for any child who needs help to improve:

  • Pencil grasp

  • Letter formation

  • Letter and word sizing/spacing

  • Legibility

  • Writing speed

  • Cursive writing

  • Endurance 

  • Alternate access methods 

Handwriting groups are run by an Occupational Therapist

Group sessions offer an affordable and highly effective therapy environment. Groups are a fun way to help motivate and boost social participation and writing confidence. Sessions are 1 hour for a length of 8 weeks. The cost is dependent on the group size.

 

A questionnaire needs to be completed prior to registration to determine suitability and matching children to the appropriate group.

 

Please contact us to learn more about or book our Occupational Therapy services!

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