Difficulties with handwriting can be devastating to a child’s education.
As children progress through school, they are increasingly expected to express what they know about many different subjects through writing. If a child fails to develop certain basic skills, he/she is unable to write with the speed and fluency required to excel as these demands increase. For a child struggling with a handwriting problem, the writing process itself interferes with learning and students faced with such difficult issues have trouble staying motivated.
Although, some kids have better handwriting than others we may wonder if that means that everyone needs therapy?
Well, not necessarily and there are a few things that indicate if they need that extra help.
1. Slow writing – If your child is consistently falling behind in assignments by not getting them done on time they may have to spend extra time at home or at recess completing work. Children who are slow when it comes to handwriting are not able to keep up with instructions and can miss valuable information.
2. Illegibility Issues – If your child has a hard time writing quickly and neatly (causing a bad grade on an assignment because teacher can’t read it correctly), reverses letters, doesn’t form letters correctly, adds too little or too much space between words, or confuses upper and lower case letters.
3. Poor Grip – If your child has difficulty holding a pencil correctly or uses an odd grasp pattern they may have poor legibility, fatigue easily, or use inconsistent pressure when writing.
4. Hand strength – Some children write too hard or soft. Writing too soft can make it hard for others to read what is writing, and can be due to poor strength in the hands. Children who write too dark or hard can also be problematic. Writing too hard can cause papers to rip, incomplete erasing, smearing and hand fatigue. Some children write too hard due to compensating for poor hand strength.
5. Spacing & Visual skills – Some children write an entire sentence without putting a space in which can make it difficult for others to read what is written even when the letters are formed well. Likewise when children are unable to write letters on the baseline they can either float up or sink down into other words.