Research Article  |   November 2014
Effects of a Classroom-Embedded Occupational Therapist–Teacher Handwriting Program for First-Grade Students
Author Affiliations
  • Jane Case-Smith, EdD, OT/L, FAOTA, was Professor and Director, Occupational Therapy Division, The Ohio State University, Columbus, at the time of the study
  • Lindy Weaver, MOT, OTR/L, is PhD Candidate, Occupational Therapy Division, The Ohio State University, 406 Atwell Hall, 453 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210; Lindy.Weaver@osumc.edu
  • Terri Holland, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Dublin City Schools, Dublin, OH
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   November 2014
Effects of a Classroom-Embedded Occupational Therapist–Teacher Handwriting Program for First-Grade Students
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2014, Vol. 68, 690-698. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011585
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2014, Vol. 68, 690-698. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011585
Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of Write Start, a handwriting and writing program cotaught by teachers and occupational therapists for first-grade children. Four classrooms (n = 80) received the Write Start program, and four (n = 58) received standard handwriting and writing instruction. Two teachers and an occupational therapist implemented the 24-session manualized program, which included station teaching and individualized supports. The program emphasized practice in small groups in which the coteaching team provided students with frequent feedback, encouraged self-evaluation, and facilitated peer modeling and peer evaluation. Students who completed the Write Start program improved more in handwriting legibility and speed than the group receiving standard instruction. Writing fluency and written composition were no different between groups at posttest; however, writing fluency was significantly higher for Write Start students at 6-mo follow-up. Write Start students with low legibility at baseline made significant improvements, suggesting that the program may benefit students at risk for handwriting and writing problems.