Alisha M. Ohl, Hollie Graze, Karen Weber, Sabrina Kenny, Christie Salvatore, Sarah Wagreich; Effectiveness of a 10-Week Tier-1 Response to Intervention Program in Improving Fine Motor and Visual–Motor Skills in General Education Kindergarten Students. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(5):507-514. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2013.008110.
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© 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. This study examined the efficacy of a 10-wk Tier 1 Response to Intervention (RtI) program developed in collaboration with classroom teachers to improve the fine motor and visual–motor skills of general education kindergarten students.
METHOD. We recruited 113 students in six elementary schools. Two general education kindergarten classrooms at each school participated in the study. Classrooms were randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups. Fine motor skills, pencil grip, and visual–motor integration were measured at the beginning of the school year and after the 10-wk intervention.
RESULTS. The intervention group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in fine motor and visual–motor skills, whereas the control group demonstrated a slight decline in both areas. Neither group demonstrated a change in pencil grip.
CONCLUSION. This study provides preliminary evidence that a Tier 1 RtI program can improve fine motor and visual–motor skills in kindergarten students.
Occupational therapists and teachers implemented each lesson following a script from the STEPS–K program manual.
Teachers were provided with visual aids to go along with each lesson (e.g., lesson plans, classroom posters, parent handouts).
Therapists and teachers modeled skills at the start of each lesson and provided opportunities for students to practice. Therapists and teachers monitored and assisted students as needed. At the conclusion of each lesson, students were asked to identify the key points of each new skill.
A fine motor center containing activities with picture cards and instructions was integrated into the daily classroom routine.
Therapists consulted with teachers to recommend specific strategies for assisting struggling students, incorporating the fine motor centers into their classrooms, and reinforcing skills throughout the school day.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a beneficial role in contributing effective Tier 1 strategies and practices that support the needs of students in the classroom environment.
Short-term interventions can have a significant effect on the fine motor and visual–motor integration skills required for handwriting readiness.
Collaboration provides teachers with skills and tools they can use in the future with or without the occupational therapy practitioner present.
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