Tsu-Hsin Howe, Karen Laurie Roston, Ching-Fan Sheu, Jim Hinojosa; Assessing Handwriting Intervention Effectiveness in Elementary School Students: A Two-Group Controlled Study. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(1):19-26. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2013.005470.
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This study examined the effectiveness of two approaches used in elementary schools to improve children’s handwriting. Participants were 72 New York City public school students from the first and second grades. A nonequivalent pretest–posttest group design was used in which students engaged in handwriting activities using two approaches: intensive handwriting practice and visual–perceptual–motor activities. Handwriting speed, legibility, and visual–motor skills were examined after a 12-wk Handwriting Club using multivariate analysis of variance. The results showed that students in the intensive handwriting practice group demonstrated significant improvements in handwriting legibility compared with students in the visual–perceptual–motor activity group. No significant effects in handwriting speed and visual–motor skills were found between the students in intensive handwriting practice group and the students in visual–perceptual–motor activities group. The Handwriting Club model is a natural intervention that fits easily into existing school curriculums and can be an effective short-term intervention (response to intervention Tier II).
Repetition and practice are important elements enhancing children’s handwriting skills.
The work of school-based occupational therapists should be entwined with the school curriculum.
The Handwriting Club model is a natural intervention that fits easily into existing school curriculums. It allows the students to intensively practice handwriting with a variety of tasks that are embedded in the curriculum based on motor learning principles. Additionally, student participants enjoyed participating and demonstrated improved legibility.
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