Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stability Balls and Handwriting

stability ball and handwriting from Your Therapy Source IncRecent research (Master’s thesis) explored whether the use of stability balls affect the development of handwriting.  The study used a pre-test, intervention, post test design with theHandwriting Without Tears Screener of Handwriting.  The experimental group consisted of 19 kindergartens who used stability balls.  The control group consisted of 19 kindergartens who did not use stability balls.  Both groups participated in 12 weeks of handwriting instruction where the same amount of letters were taught using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. The results indicated the following:
  1.  no significant growth in the areas of memory, orientation, placement, and total growth between the experimental group and the control group.
  2. when growth scores for all of the tests were compared between
    the boys and the girls in both groups the only section of the assessment that
    showed significant growth was placement.
  3. The overall total average growth for the experimental group was 5.66
    percentage points higher than the control group, indicating that students in the
    experimental group grew at a faster rate than those in the control group.
  4. The experimental group average growth in memory was 7.25 percentage points higher than the control group showing that the students in the experimental group grew at a faster rate in the area of memory.
Although this study included a small number of subjects, the clinical implications indicate that the development of handwriting is positively impacted by sitting on a ball by helping students recall how to form a letter correctly and helping girls with letter placement.
Reference:  Haan, Megan, “Stability Balls and Handwriting Proficiency in a Kindergarten Classroom” (2015). Master of Education Program Theses. Paper 86.

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