When I ask a parent to describe their concerns regarding their child’s handwriting, I usually hear one of the following responses:
“You can’t really read it.”
“It doesn’t look as good as his peers.”
While that’s all well and vague, it’s up to me to determine not only what’s wrong with their child’s handwriting, but also what’s fixable. So here is my process…
Step 1: Gather the data.
I don’t even start off by asking a child to write. I first look at underlying skills related to handwriting. This usually includes clinical observations of motor skills, stability of supporting joints, pencil grasp, hand strength, etc. You have to look at the foundation before you can fully address anything else.
Standardized testing typically starts with The Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (AKA the Beery VMI).
I like this test because it is broken down into three…
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When you break down the steps, this simple life skill becomes easier.
I have used this technique to teach so many kids how to tie their shoes. I teach shoe tying by breaking down the processes into steps. I teach a few steps at a time and then its “my turn” to finish.
For example, teach them the first few steps in crossing the laces over each other and then pushing the “Snake” into the hole. “Hand in the lap” is a way to get the kids to see each step. Once one set of steps is mastered, I have the kids move to the next natural break in the processes. I always teach this skill with the shoe off the foot before I teach it on the foot.
Most kids do not have the hand and sequencing skills to tie their shoes until kindergarten. This is a teachable skill but it is…
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