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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

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

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.39 n.2 Pretoria Aug. 2009




Visual-motor integration (VMI) - a predictor for handwriting in Grade 0 children



Pragashnie NaidooI; Amy EngelbrechtII; Sharon LewisIII; Bridget KekanaIV

IB.OT (UDW); Senior Tutor, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Audiology, Occupational Therapy & Speech-language Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
IIB.Occ.Th (UKZN); Occupational Therapist in paediatric private practice
IIIB.Occ.Th (UKZN); School-based Occupational Therapist in the United Kingdom
IVB.Occ.Th (UKZN); Occupational Therapist, Lebowakgomo Hospital, Limpopo Province





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.

Key words: VMI, Handwriting, Letter Formation, Handwriting Legibility, Grade 0



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Pragashnie Naidoo
Senior Tutor
Discipline of Occupational Therapy
School of Audiology, Occupational Therapy & Speech-language Pathology
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal

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