Development of Handwriting


During my final placement as an OT student, I arrived new to paediatrics and my clinical lead pointed out my roles and responsibilities for the next 3 months. One of which was to run the year 3 handwriting lesson once per week, in my nieve and ignorant mind my first response was “whys that my job and not the teachers.”

How wrong I was! Two years post-graduation after attending a Sydney Chu course and completing SI module 1, I realise the complexity of the functional skill and crucial need for a developmental therapeutic approach to success. It is hopeful that by participating in this #OTalk, people will appreciate the complexity of handwriting, understand the developmental pre-requisites for writing and share resources and information from those experts in the field. I still feel like a novice with understanding the occupational functional, however, I hope this talk can broaden my perspective, share resources and learn from others.

Handwriting is defined as being a complex skill that requires motor, sensory, cognitive, praxis and perceptual skills, (Chu 1997). It’s functions include, being a form of communication in order to record information and a means of expressing feelings, thoughts and ideas, (Chu 1997).

To help us think about handwriting please refer to the following questions:

1. What are the pre-requisites required for handwriting?

2. How can you identify handwriting difficulties? What do you need to look out for?

3. What assessment tools are available to assess handwriting?

4. What resources are available for supporting handwriting both in schools and from a clinic base?

5. Who is responsible for handwriting? The OT, teacher, parent debate?

6. What is your take away message from today?


Thank you for participating in this #OTalk


Chu, S. (1997) Occupational Therapy for Children with handwriting difficulties: A framework for evaluation and treatment. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 60 (12).







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