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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.41 n.3 Pretoria  2011




A survey to investigate how South African Occupational Therapists in private practice are assessing and treating poor handwriting in foundation phase learners: Part I - Demographics and assessment practices



Joanne van der MerweI; Neeltje SmitII; Betsie VlokIII

IBScOT, M OT. Private Practitioner
IIB OT, B Hons OT, MBA. Senior Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch
IIIM OT. Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch





Poor handwriting can have a myriad of negative effects on a learner's academic performance and emotional well-being. Appropriate assessment and early remediation of handwriting difficulties are of paramount importance in minimising these effects.
This study explored, by means of a telephonic survey, the assessment practices used by South African occupational therapists in the remediation of handwriting difficulties in Foundation Phase learners. The findings show that a wide variety of informal and formal assessment methods are used. With regards to standardised performance component assessments, the Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and the Developmental Test of Visual Perception-2nd edition (DTVP-2) were the preferred assessment tools. The limited use of standardised handwriting assessments is an area of concern in the light of the importance attached to providing objective evidence of the benefit of intervention on functional skills. Use of the DTVP-2 for handwriting referrals may need to be reviewed as available research has shown no significant correlation between handwriting ability and Perceptual Quotient scores on the DTVP.

Key words: Assessment, Foundation Phase, Handwriting



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Joanne van der Merwe



This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the MOccTher at Stellenbosch University.

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