Denise K. Donica; Handwriting Without Tears®: General Education Effectiveness Through a Consultative Approach. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(6):6906180050p1-6906180050p8. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.018366.
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© 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. This study explores the effectiveness of the Handwriting Without Tears® (HWT) kindergarten printing curriculum in general education through a consultative approach with occupational therapy.
METHOD. One cohort of students was the control (n = 19), whereas two other cohorts were experimental groups learning printing through the HWT curriculum (n = 20 each). The Test of Handwriting Skills–Revised (THS–R) was used to collect end-of-year legibility scores for all cohorts.
RESULTS. Both experimental groups individually and both experimental groups combined into one group outperformed the control group on all 10 of the THS–R subtests—scoring significantly higher (p < .05 using analysis of covariance controlling for age and gender) on 6 of the subtests for the former and 7 for the latter—and on overall score. Large treatment effects were found for the standard score for each experimental group (d = 0.81, 1.03, and 1.00).
CONCLUSION. This study supports the consultative role of occupational therapy with teachers in general education for handwriting curriculum implementation and the success of HWT for printing instruction.
Occupational therapy practitioners must continue to advocate for their involvement in general education problem-solving teams at the school level, which may include providing recommendations for handwriting curriculum.
Occupational therapy practitioner consultation with teachers can be successful in implementing handwriting curricula.
HWT is an evidence-based curriculum that can be recommended by occupational therapy practitioners for effective printing instruction at the classroom or institutional level.
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