Research Article  |   April 2016
Effectiveness of a Handwriting Intervention With At-Risk Kindergarteners
Author Affiliations
  • Sheryl Eckberg Zylstra, DOT, MS, OTR/L, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA. At the time of this study, she was a doctoral student at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; szylstra@pugetsound.edu
  • Beth Pfeiffer, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, is Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   April 2016
Effectiveness of a Handwriting Intervention With At-Risk Kindergarteners
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2016, Vol. 70, 7003220020p1-7003220020p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.018820
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2016, Vol. 70, 7003220020p1-7003220020p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.018820
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We examined the effectiveness of an occupational therapist–led handwriting intervention for special education and at-risk kindergarteners.

METHOD. We incorporated a two-group, pretest–posttest design. Both groups consisted of kindergarteners receiving individualized education program (IEP) or Response to Intervention (RtI) support. An occupational therapist provided biweekly group handwriting instruction using the Size Matters Handwriting Program to students in the intervention group (n = 23). The control group (n = 12) received the standard handwriting instruction.

RESULTS. Students in the intervention group demonstrated significantly greater gains in handwriting legibility than students in the control group. Students in the intervention group also demonstrated significantly greater gains in the prereading skills of uppercase letter recognition, lowercase letter recognition, and letter sound recognition.

CONCLUSION. This study provides preliminary support for an occupational therapist–led handwriting intervention to improve writing legibility and letter recognition in kindergarteners receiving RtI and IEP supports.