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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

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

Abstract

VAN DER MERWE, Joanne; SMIT, Neeltje  and  VLOK, Betsie. A survey to investigate how South African Occupational Therapists in private practice are assessing and treating poor handwriting in foundation phase learners: Part II - Treatment and evaluation practices. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2011, vol.41, n.3, pp.11-17. ISSN 2310-3833.

Handwriting is a functional skill of paramount importance for school-going children. Difficulties with this skill can result in poor academic performance and emotional distress which can potentially lead to school drop-out. These negative effects can be prevented by early remediation of handwriting difficulties. This is the second part of a two-part paper describing a telephonic survey of 162 South African occupational therapists working with Foundation Phase learners to remediate handwriting difficulties. Part 1 describes demographic data and assessment practices. Part 2 provides a description of the treatment and progress evaluation practices of the respondents. Seventy two percent of the respondents treated learners individually and 67% utilised home programmes with every referral. The majority of therapists applied an eclectic treatment approach, with sensory integration and psychosocial principles/techniques being most frequently used (<95%). The most popular means of evaluating progress were work sample comparisons (97%), review of treatment notes (94%), teacher interview/questionnaire (74%) and discussion with the learner (73%). The limited use of home programs may indicate an avenue for future research.

Keywords : Evaluation; Foundation Phase; Handwriting; Treatment; Occupational Therapy.

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