Is Your Child’s Handwriting Ability Slowing Their Academic Progress?
Sensory Perception and Handwriting Skills
Each school year academic challenges increase. It is crucial for a 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, including a child’s sensory perception.
- Vestibular perception is the sense that 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 sensory 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 perception systems are not well integrated, 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 another issue at the root of the problem – not just the need for more practice or a pencil grip to correct their grasp. By working on underlying foundational skills, such as vestibular and proprioceptive sensory processing, 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 then address them with Occupational Therapy.
To find out more, call CSC at 310-899-9597.