Is Your Child’s Handwriting Ability Slowing Their Progress?
Each school year, as the academic challenges increase, it is crucial for your child to have strong handwriting skills to help them master these new challenges, without the task becoming overwhelming. Handwriting efficiency is influenced by a variety of factors, which include the following examples:
- Vestibular perception provides information regarding head position and movement in relation to gravity. This system refers to the information that is provided by the receptors within the inner ear. It orients the eyes, head, and body to changes in movement.
- Proprioceptive information is that which is provided by receptors in the muscles, joints, and tendons, and provides one with conscious and unconscious awareness of posture and the direction and force of movements.
- Strong core/stomach muscles and a stable shoulder girdle help effectively execute and control the small hand movements required for handwriting.
- Visual perception is the interpretation of visual input.
If a child’s vestibular and proprioceptive sensory systems are not well integrated then their balance, core strength and overall stability will be compromised. This stability is the base from which fine motor skills and thus handwriting skills develop. A child who struggles with visual perception, a condition most often caused by both eyes not working together efficiently, will consequently also experience difficulties reading, writing and even learning the alphabet. If your child is struggling with handwriting it may be a deeper issue than just needing more practice or a pencil grip to correct their grasp. By working on the underlying foundational skills, such as vestibular and proprioceptive processing, and upper body/hand muscle tone, strength and endurance, an occupational therapist can improve your student’s handwriting legibility, speed and efficiency.
Child Success Center can help identify the underlying challenges and can help with Occupational Therapy – for more significant issues, or a handwriting club to help with practice and coaching needs. CSC offers “Write On Kids” handwriting programs and has several planned for the fall that can fit your schedule and have your young one progressing on track in no time. To find out more, call CSC at 310-899-9597.