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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

Abstract

NAIDOO, Pragashnie; ENGELBRECHT, Amy; LEWIS, Sharon  and  KEKANA, Bridget. Visual-motor integration (VMI) - a predictor for handwriting in Grade 0 children. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.2, pp.18-21. ISSN 2310-3833.

INTRODUCTION: Occupational therapists (OTs) are often faced with the late referral of children with handwriting difficulties when intervention is less effective. It is thus essential for the OT and the teacher to be able to identify these children early for maximum therapeutic intervention. The researchers therefore attempted to investigate whether visual motor integration (VMI) can be a predictor of handwriting skills in Grade 0 children METHODOLOGY: A standardised visual perceptual test (the Test ofVisual Motor Integration) 9 and handwriting assessments were conducted with 53 Grade 0 children in mainstream schools around Durban in an attempt to establish a link. Handwriting was analysed using adapted criteria from the Writing Rate Information Test (WRIT), which was developed by Steinhardt et al10 in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa RESULTS: A significant correlation between the formation of letters e, f, and k and visual motor integration (VMI) was noted in the sample, whilst no significant link was found between legibility of handwriting and VMI. A relationship was found between writing the name from memory and VMI and a significant correlation was found when comparing reversals in a child's attempt at writing their name from memory and his / her VMI score It was concluded that visual-motor integration as determined by the Test of Visual Motor Integration can be a significant predictor of a child's ability to form letters, write his name from memory and of the presence of letter reversals in writing in the Grade 0 child.

Keywords : VMI; Handwriting; Letter Formation; Handwriting Legibility; Grade 0.

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