How Occupational Therapy can Help
January 23rd is the birthday of John Hancock, aka the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence! On this day, all over the country the importance of writing is celebrated, with a special significance to occupational therapists, as handwriting is one of the areas of practice we work on most frequently.
Occupational Therapists and Handwriting
Occupational therapists evaluate the underlying components that support a child’s handwriting and provide education to parents and teachers on what techniques they can utilize at home and school to promote improved handwriting skills (AOTA, 2017).
Why Handwriting Skills are so Important
Handwriting skills are essential for children. Even with increasing technology, they remain the primary tool for communication and knowledge assessment for students in the classroom. Ten to thirty percent of school-age children struggle with handwriting and, as a result, may experience negative impacts on other areas of learning, poor academic performance or school achievement, and self esteem (Engel-Yeger, Nagakur-Yanuv & Rosenblum, 2009; Feder and Majnemer 2007; Karlsdottir & Stephansson, 2002; Marr et al. 2003; Saperstein Associates, 2012; Handwriting Without Tears, 2015).
Benefit of Handwriting Improvement
Evidence based studies examined by HWT (2015) report structured handwriting instruction leads to improved writing performance, academic success, and overall student self-esteem (Graham, Harris, & Fink, 2000b; Graham & Harris, 2005; Jones & Christensen, 1999; Saperstein Associates, 2012).
Importance of Early Intervention
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