Handwriting Evaluations & Programmes
Therapy in Praxis offer an individualised programme according to your child’s needs. Occupational Therapy staff will be completing the programme; we work to improve individual functioning and promote independence and engagement, as well as encouraging self-esteem and enjoyment in tasks that are found difficult.
The first stage of the process is completing an assessment, this will include both observation and formal tools. The formal tools measure visual perceptual capabilities, that impact on writing skills. The observation tool will be a checklist based on observation of handwriting, noting detail such as letter formation, alignment, spacing, speed, grip, posture, legibility, and fluency.
We use a variety of handwriting programmes such as;
- ‘Write from the Start’,
- ‘Handwriting Without Tears’,
- ‘Big Strokes for Little Folks’
- ‘Speed up’
These programmes are used alongside additional activities that are chosen to address the underlying deficits which are influencing the child’s handwriting. A variety of skills are required to complete handwriting effectively and with ease, such as;
We aim to provide activities that address these areas. We can also look at compensatory techniques that could be implemented in the classroom where appropriate [additional charges may apply].
The approaches we use are guided by research and theories, approaches used are a combination of bottom up and top down, i.e. we look at the underlying skills that are required for handwriting, and how they effect the functioning (bottom up), but also focus on the activity itself, analysing what is required to complete handwriting effectively (top down).This combination results in a programme that gives children the chance to practise handwriting, but also to improve their core skills that may be applied to other areas of functioning.
We look at handwriting from several perspectives: including sensory motor/kinaesthetic, visual perception and visual motor and biomechanical approaches. Using this wide range of perspectives ensures that this highly complex skill is considered in all its components, with a view to understanding where impairments can lie within this skill.
We recommend that a programme involve at least 6 weeks, ideally with 2 hours per week in order to achieve realistic and observable improvements. Various programme options are available. Progress and goals can be reviewed and the intervention altered accordingly throughout, and at the end of 6 weeks.
Although our programme aims to improve handwriting, it also aims to improve the child’s enjoyment and self esteem relating to handwriting. We use several methods to motivate and engage the children we work with including goal setting with the child, certificates, games to run alongside conventional paper based tasks [with therapeutic benefits] and a related project that will be built on for the duration of the programme. These schemes are graded according to the age and interests of the child.
Sessions will include a variety of activities, not just pen and paper tasks, we aim to make sessions fun, so that the children enjoy coming as well as recognise that they are attending to improve their skills.