Even with all the advancements in technology and the increasing use of gadgets, legible handwriting is still a vital skill. The COVID-19 pandemic may have taken classes and homework submission online, but your child’s ability to work with a pencil still matters. Before their school opens, you need to ensure they’re not having trouble writing their alphabets.
Why Is Handwriting Still an Important Skill?
To translate one’s thought process into written language is a complex motor activity. Handwriting is a lot more than just letters on a page. It requires efficient coordination between the child’s body posture, eyes, hands, arms, and pencil grip. Your child’s school probably judges their handwriting to see how well they’re doing at school and how fast they’re learning. It’s imperative for good handwriting that the child has the required muscule strength, coordination capability, motor control, and endurance.
Does My Child Have Handwriting Issues?
Before the child heads back to school, you need to evaluate their ability to form letters. Good handwriting needs practice and time. You can’t expect your child to be able to carve near-perfect and neat letters from a young age. However, parents must be able to identify potential issues that need to be fixed.
Is your child’s handwriting sloppy, inconsistent, or illegible? Do they have trouble holding the pencil correctly? Is their handwriting less polished compared to that of their peers? Does your child deliberately avoid writing tasks? Do they find it hard to copy something exactly from the book? Do they have a poor hand grip?
Please check whether these issues persist all the time or just when they’re rushing through an assignment. Talk to their teacher and see if they have also noticed these issues. Although a teacher is primarily responsible for improving the child’s handwriting, they can’t do much if they have developmental issues. This is where an occupational therapist comes in.
How Can an Occupational Therapist Help?
An occupational therapist will first try and analyze the child’s visual perception, cognitive skills, sensory processing, and fine motor skills. This will help them devise the right kind of therapeutic intervention that the child needs.
They’ll formulate physical activities to improve the child’s hand dominance and strength, pencil grip, legibility, and fine motor control. The occupational therapist will also help the child utilize the lines correctly, size the alphabets steadily, and form letters properly. They use handwriting equipment and tools (chairs, tables, and pencils) compatible with the child. By working on the child’s endurance, the therapist will help them improve handwriting fatigue and maintain the correct posture.
The pediatric speech and language pathologists at Bloomfield Institute of Therapy have a combined experience of over 40 years. Our pediatric occupational therapy services are aimed at improving the child’s handwriting, strength, speech, and mobility.
Book a consultation with us now if you’re based in Cedar Grove.