Handwriting is one of the most complex skills that is learnt and taught. It requires motor, sensory, perceptual, praxis (motor planning) and cognitive functions and the integration of these functions (Chu, 1997). When the complexity of this skill is considered it is not surprising that many children experience difficulty in mastering this skill.
When handwriting difficulties affect a student’s academic performance, intervention is warranted, and a referral to an occupational therapist may be recommended. Occupational Therapists usually adopt a diagnostic approach to the assessment of handwriting difficulties and diagnosis of dysgraphia.
Evaluation of handwriting difficulties can include and may not be limited to:
Following assessment of handwriting, it is important to establish what approach is most appropriate for the student. In some cases, remediation is not possible without significant effort and financial burden. In this current technologically advanced climate, alternative options provide a range of choices that can be both cost effective and preferred by the student. In all cases, consultation and collaboration with parents and teachers is recommended.
Treatment approaches include:
From all perspectives, Handwriting is a complex “end product.” Identifying and seeking assistance at the earliest stages supports students achieving to their potential. For further advice and information contact an Occupational Therapist specialising in paediatrics.