Poor handwriting is one of the most common OT referrals among primary school students. Children may never have mastered such fundamental pre-writing skills as sizing, formation, construction, alignment or spacing.

A number of factors can affect handwriting skills development. These include:

  • Attention to task: Children can’t sit still or keep their eyes on task, or they miss important details and instructions.
  • Pencil grasp: If a child holds a pencil the wrong way, you need to promote a stronger, more effective grasp before you will achieve handwriting progress.
  • Posture and core strength: Try the Core Strengthening Handbook for fun, creative kids’ activities.
  • Hand strength: This is one of the most frequent of all pediatric therapy issues. To build hand strength, a good resource is the Hand Strengthening Handbook.
  • Visual perception: These skills help children make sense of what they see. They include visual discrimination, visual closure, figure ground, visual memory, form constancy, spatial relations and visual sequential memory.
  • Hand dominance: Most children gravitate toward one hand or the other as their “strong hand.” Beginning at birth and continuing through about the age of five, they go through a critical trial-and-error phase with their hands. One aspect of hand dominance is midline crossing, which is the ability to use one hand to work on the opposite side of the body. Youngsters with an established dominant hand will stick with that hand, even if they have to reach across their body to complete a task.
  • Sensory processing: Here’s an easy-to-read guide that provides a more in-depth understanding of sensory processing.
  • Vision: Difficulties with vision can affect hand-eye coordination, which is required for proper spatial and motor control.

Other underlying issues to consider are those related to visual motor integration, fine motor coordination, or various learning disabilities.

Are you passionate about helping your students reach their full potential starting with the upcoming school year?

Our clinical managers are therapists themselves, so they know what it takes to achieve career growth, success, and satisfaction. Contact Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services today – and we can set your school-based therapy practice, and your career, on the right path.


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