Handwriting, How to promote prewriting skills ?

Handwriting is the major component of elementary school education. Ideal grasp for handwriting is the dynamic tripod with an open space. The open web space in combination with radial digits enables the thumb, index and middle fingers to hold the pencil during handwriting.

To promote prewriting skills:

  • Drawing lines and copying shapes using shaving cream, sand trays or finger paints
  • Drawing lines and shapes to complete a picture story on chalk boards
  • Drawing pictures of people, house, trees, cars or animals with visual or verbal cues
  • Complete dot to dot pictures and mazes

When evaluating the actual task of children’s handwriting the four following areas are evaluated.

  1. Domains of Handwriting

Writing the alphabet in both upper and lower case letters and writing numbers requires the child to form each individual letters and numeral from memory, to sequence letters and numbers, to sequence letters and numbers, and to use consistent letter cases.

  1. Legibility Components

Legibility is often categorized as component of letter formation, alignment, spacing, size and slant. The factors that affect negatively legibility are improper letter forms, poor leading in and leading out of letters, inadequate rounding of letters, incomplete closures of letters and incorrect letters ascenders and descenders.

  1. Writing Speed

A child’s rate of writing (the number of letters written per minute) along with legibility are the two factors determining whether the child’s performance. The quality of writing may decrease when the amount or complexity of the writing task increases or greater speed is required than the child’s writing speed.

  1. Ergonomic Factors

Writing posture, upper extremity stability and mobility pencil grasp are ergonomic factors that must be analyzed as the child engages in writing. Stability and mobility of the upper extremity refers to the stabilization of the shoulder girdle, elbow and wrist to allow the dexterous hand to manipulate the writing instrument

In the handwriting intervention programs include

  • Neurodevelopmental : it focuses on an individual ability to execute normal postural responses and movement patterns. Postural and upper extremity preparation activities are an important component of a comprehensive handwriting program for children.
  • Acquistional: Handwriting may be viewed as a complex motor skill and like other acquistional skills can be improved through practice, repetition, feedback and reinforcement.
  • Sensory integration: Writing tools, writing surfaces, and positions for writing are all integral parts of a sensory integrative approach in handwriting intervention.
  • Biomechanical: Handwriting focuses on the ergonomic factors of sitting posture, paper position , pencil grasp , writing instructions and type of paper.
  • Behavioral : Adaptive behaviors can be learned through interaction with a reinforcinggg environment.
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