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Study of Pre-Handwriting Factors Necessary for Successful Handwriting in Children

Authors: Lalitchandra J. Shah, Katarzyna Bialek, Melinda L. Clarke, Jessica L. Jansson


Handwriting is essential to academic success; however, the current literature is limited in the identification of pre-handwriting skills. The purpose of this study was to identify the pre-handwriting skills, which occupational therapy practitioners deem important to handwriting success, as well as those which aid in intervention planning. The online survey instrument consisted of 33 questions that assessed various skills related to the development of handwriting, as well as captured demographic information. Both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants were included in the survey study. The survey found that the respondents were in agreement that purposeful scribbling, the ability of a child to copy (vertical/horizontal lines, circle, squares, and triangles), imitating an oblique cross, cognitive skills (attention, praxis, self-regulation, sequencing), grasp patterns, hand dominance, in hand manipulation skills (shift, translation, rotation), bilateral integration, stabilization of paper, crossing midline, and visual perception were important indicators of handwriting readiness. The results of the survey support existing research regarding the skills necessary for the successful development of handwriting in children.

Keywords: Development, Occupational therapy, handwriting, visual perceptual skills

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