Is Your Child Struggling to Write? We Can Help!
It’s every parent’s dream to set their child up for long-term success. Who hasn’t seen a doctor’s ridiculous scrawl and thought to themselves, “Oh, my gosh, who taught this person how to write?!” Handwriting says a lot about an individual, and the absolute best time to get started teaching penmanship is during the early years.
Developing good handwriting takes a lot of time, and while it starts at home, it definitely is a process that will continue on through the primary school years and even beyond. However, there are some children who will have even more difficulty than others.
There is a long list of reasons children may have difficulty with handwriting, and working with a physical therapist is a great way to build the strength and routine necessary to develop strong penmanship skills.
Whether there is a need to improve hand-eye coordination, work through potential developmental issues like ADHD, or build muscle development, working with a physical therapist is a great strategy to get you started off on the right foot.
Evidence of physical and occupational therapy for the enhancement of handwriting skills
While you may view physical therapy as a way to help heal broken bones or learn how to move better, there is much more that can be accomplished with the help of a pediatric therapist team.
In fact, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, titled, “The effect of fine motor skills on handwriting legibility in preschool age children,” PT and OT are both great resources for helping your child harness their handwriting skills.
As the study states, “The results of the study showed a high level of correlation between fine motor skills and handwriting legibility. The study revealed that the accuracy of hand and in-hand manipulation skills is factors that have an effect on handwriting legibility.
Through the current research, occupational therapists can provide activities that aid the development of fine motor precision and in-hand manipulation skills for children during the instruction and treatment of handwriting to preschool age children, which helps to conduct better legibility in their handwriting.
Therefore, the evidence of this study supports physical and occupational clinics such as ours as effective methods for improving a child’s handwriting.
3 tips for practicing handwriting with your child at home
1. Another great strategy to use when you are working with your child is to model positive handwriting techniques. Demonstrate to your child how to hold a pen and how to position the paper. Demonstrate the way you are focusing on your handwriting, and share tips with your child. Sometimes, modeling how you are able to focus on your writing can help improve your child’s ability to focus themselves.
2. Sometimes, the issue with handwriting isn’t purely muscular but instead is related to some additional forms of difficulties like attention deficit or even dysgraphia. When this is the case, working with a physical therapist can definitely help. At home, additional practice techniques can be useful, such as having the child state out loud what they plan to write as they write it. Even saying the letter or word as they write can help improve focus, and this sometimes can improve handwriting.
3. Do plenty of drills with your child by having them trace over printed letters. These sorts of drills are what many primary school teachers use to improve handwriting in students, and it can help train muscle memory for children, so they can practice better handwriting on their own as time goes on.
How else can I help improve my child’s handwriting skills?
Good handwriting is not something that will happen overnight. The first time any child picks up a pen, their handwriting is going to be full of mistakes. In time, they will learn how to write the letters and will want to start forming words and sentences, and this is when it is time to start really focusing on ways to teach proper penmanship.
As time goes on, if there are still fundamental issues with the formation of letters, numbers, and even the ability to write in a straight line, then it may be time to develop strategies to improve handwriting before they take those poor habits into adulthood. As with anything else in life, when it comes to improving handwriting, practice makes perfect.
Looking for extra assistance? We can help!
Overcoming poor handwriting isn’t always the easiest problem to fix, so being patient with your child is important. In addition to working with your child’s teacher or a private tutor, you may also want to consider reaching out to a physical therapist for support with this process.
Contact Oceanside Therapy Group for more information about ways to improve handwriting in children who need a bit of extra support and how physical therapy may help.