Written output performance in the classroom is associated with handwriting speed. If the child can not write with an appropriate speed it can be difficult to manage classroom assignments in a timely manner throughout the school day and during homework.
When trying to determine why a student may have slow handwriting speed you can start with these 5 evidence based factors that can affect handwriting speed:
- type of writing assignment – is the child free writing? near point copying? far point copying? writing from dictation?
- visual sequential memory – the ability to remember and recall a sequence of objects and/or events in the correct order.
- visual-motor integration skills – the ability to interpret visual information and respond with a motor action.
- upper limb speed and dexterity.
- poor paper positioning – (download a free hand out with proper paper positioning tips).
Need to assess handwriting speed? The Handwriting Rubrics packet has a rubric specific for handwriting speed. Also included are rubrics for grades 2-8 that lists age appropriate letters per minute. Find out more information.
Feder KP, Majnemer A (2007) Handwriting development, competency, and intervention. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 49(4): 312–317.
Franzsen D, Steward A (2014) Identifying the factors that contribute to hand writing problems experienced by students at a higher education institution in South Africa. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy 44(1): 3–8.
Tseng MH, Chow SMK (2000) Perceptual-motor function of school-age children with slow handwriting speed. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 54(1): 83–88.
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