versão On-line ISSN 2310-3833
versão impressa ISSN 0038-2337
S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.41 no.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
“Full text available only in PDF format”
1. McHale K, Cermak SA. Fine motor activities in elementary school: Preliminary findings and provisional implications for children with fine motor problems. Am J Occup Ther, 1992; 46(10): 898-903. [ Links ]
2. Amundson SJ. Prewriting and handwriting skills. In: Case-Smith J, editor. Occupational therapy for children. 5th ed. Missouri: Elsevier Mosby; 2005. p. 587-614. [ Links ]
3. Berninger V Rutberg J, Abbott R, Garcia N, Anderson-Youngstrom M, Brooks A, et al. "Tier 1 and tier 2 early intervention for handwriting and composing." J School Psychol [Internet]. [ Links ] 2006;44:3-30. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=PublicationURL&_tockey=%23TOC%2358l4%232006%23999559998%236l7198%23FLA%23&_cdi=5814&_pubType=J&_auth=y&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=60cla5a78f5a92472ac4264f37595lla> (25 Jul 2009)
4. Graham S, Harris KR. "The role of self-regulation and transcription skills in writing and writing development." Educ Psychologist [Internet]. [ Links ] 2000;35(1):3-12. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=9&sid=ec6ecl41-a026-4348-8abb-2b944b3808a4%40sessionmgrll&vid=3> (10 Dec 2010)
5. Graham S, Weintraub N. "A review of handwriting research: Progress and prospects from 1980 to 1994." Educ Psychol Rev [Internet]. [ Links ] 1996; 8:7-87. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=7a0l7fe2-4e55-4e67-bcl3-7b5c5ea78a71%40sessionmgr15&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Educational+Psychology+Review%22+AND+DT+1996030l)&bdata=JmR iPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (3 Dec 2010)
6. Groff P "Handwriting, and its relationship to spelling." J Simplified Spelling Society [Internet]. [ Links ] l995; l9(2): 22-5. < http://www.englishspellingsociety.org/journals/jl9/handwriting.php> (15 Dec 2010)
7. Jones D, Christensen CA. "Relationship between automaticity in handwriting and student's ability to generate written text." J Educ Psychol [Internet]. [ Links ] 1999;91(1):44-9. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=4b587a06-783b-4fe0-82fl-473693l742e5%40sessionmgrl3&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Journal+of+Educational+Psychology %22+AND+IK+%2219990301+00091+00001%22)&bdata=JmRiPXBkaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl > (3 Dec 2010)
8. Pontella K. "Handwriting: An exploration of foundational skills." [Ph.D. dissertation]. Dissertations & Theses: The Sciences and Engineering Collection. <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?did=1632844891&Fmt=l4&VType=PQD&VInst=PROD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1294770418&clientId=79356> (3 May 2009) [ Links ]
9. Zwicker JG. "Effectiveness of occupational therapy in remediating handwriting difficulties in primary students: Cognitive versus multisensory interventions" [thesis]. Canada: University of Victoria; 2005. <https://dspace.library.uvic.ca:8443/bitstream/l828/49/1/Zwicker%20thesis.pdf> (15 Dec 2010)
10. Bonney M. Understanding and assessing handwriting difficulty: Perspectives from the literature. Aust Occup Ther J, l992; 39(1):7-15. [ Links ]
11. Case-Smith J. Effectiveness of school-based occupational therapy intervention on handwriting. Am J Occup Ther, 2002; 56(1): 17-25. [ Links ]
12. Cermak SA. Somatodyspraxia. In: Fisher AG, Murray EA, Bundy AC, editors. Sensory integration theory and practice. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company, 1991. [ Links ]
13. Reisman JE. Poor handwriting: Who is referred? Am J OccupTher, 1991; 45: 849-52. [ Links ]
14. Naude D, Pretorius R. "Proposing an instructional framework for children with HIV/AIDS." Br J Spec Ed [Internet]. [ Links ] 2003;30(3):l38-43. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=abef535c-48f6-4ae1-a7dd-5e2af2db096e%40sessionmgr4&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22British+Journal+of+Special+Education%22+AND+DT+20030901)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (l4 Dec 2010)
15. Christensen CA. "The role of orthographic-motor integration in the production of creative and well-structured written text for students in secondary school." Educ Psychol [Internet]. [ Links ] 2005;25(5):44 l -53. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ ehost/results?hid=9&sid=91174cb4-8608-4c3b-a92d-a235b7f9772d%40sessionmgrll&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Educational+Psychology%22+AND+DT+20051001)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (2 Dec 2010)
16. Feder KP Majnemer A. Handwriting development, competency and intervention. Dev Med Child Neurol, 2007; 49(4): 312-8. [ Links ]
17. Paton C. "A letdown." Financial Mail. 2008 March 28. <http://free.financialmail.co.za/report08/skillsdev08/askills.htm> (4 Jun 2009) [ Links ]
18. Feder KP Majnemer A, Synnes A. Handwriting: Current trends in occupational therapy practise. Can I Occup Ther, 2000; 67(3): 197-204. [ Links ]
19. Landy JM, Burridge KR. Fine motor skills & handwriting activities for young children. NY: The Center For Applied Research In Education, 1999. [ Links ]
20. Graham S, Struck M, Santoro J, Berninger VW. "Dimensions of good and poor handwriting legibility in first and second graders: Motor programs, visual-spatial arrangement, and letter formation parameter setting." Dev Neuropsychol [Internet]. [ Links ] 2006; 29(1): 43-60. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=9d9a0455-38b4-4da5-89a9-3f0857cf96f8%40sessionmgr14&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Developmental+Neuropsychology%22+AND+DT+2006020l)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (14 Dec 2010).
21. Graham S, Weintraub N, Berninger, V "Which manuscript letters do primary grade children write legibly?" J Educ Psychol [Internet]. [ Links ] 2001 ;93(3):488-97. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=1842f60c-cele-4f33-b84e-8e6166f5203f%>40sessionmgr12&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Journal+of+Educational+Psychology%22+AND+IK+%2220010901+00093+0000 3%22)&bdata=JmRiPXBkaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZT11aG9zdClsaXZl> (4 Dec 2010).
22. Hofmeister AM. "Identifying Handwriting Problems." Utah: Utah State University; 1992. <http://www.usu.edu/teachall/text/langart/programs/handwriting/chp6.pdf> (28 Dec 2010). [ Links ]
23. Rosenblum S, Weiss PL, Parush S. "Product and process evaluation of handwriting difficulties." Educ Psychol Rev [Internet]. [ Links ] 2003; 15(1): 41-81. <http://research.haifa.ac.il/~rosens/2.Productandprocess.pdf> (10 Dec 2010).
24. Graham S, Boyer-Shick K, Tippets E. "The validity of the handwriting scale from the Test of Written Language." J Educ Res [Internet]. [ Links ] 1989; 82(3): 166-71. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=5dc99310-fcb8-48e2-aa88-5927c9d09b7b%40sessionmgrl4&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Journal+of+Educational+Research%22+AND+DT+19890101)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (12 Dec 2010).
25. Weintraub N, Drory-Asayag A, Dekel R, Jokobovits H, Parush S. "Developmental trends in handwriting performance among middle school children." OTJR [Internet]. [ Links ] 2007;27(3):104-12. <http://proquest.umi.com.ez.sun.ac.za/pqdlink?RQT=572&TS=1294847390&clientId=57290&VType=PQD&VName=PQD&VInst=PROD&PMID=39316&PCID=36205461&SrtM=0&SrchMode=3&aid=l > (7 Dec 2010).
26. Graham S, Berninger V, Weintraub N, Schafer W. "Development of handwriting speed and legibility in grade 1-9." J Educ Res [Internet]. [ Links ] 1998;92(1):42-52. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=5dc99310-fcb8-48e2-aa88-5927c9d09b7b%40sessionmgrl4&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Journal+of+ Educational+Research%22+AND+DT+1998090l)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl > (15 Dec 2010).
27. Volman MJM, van Schendal BM, Jongmans MJ. Handwriting difficulties in primary school children: A search for underlying mechanisms. Am J Occup Ther, 2006; 60(4): 451-60. [ Links ]
28. Ziviani J, Watson-Will A. "Writing speed and legibility of 7-l4-year old school students using modern cursive script." Aust Occup Ther J [Internet]. [ Links ] 1998;45(2):59-64. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=40041c62-c2cd-4fa2-9d6f-l49498fbda0%40sessionmgr4&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Australian+Occupational+Therapy+Journal%22+AND+DT+19980601)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (l4 Dec 2010).
29. Weil M, Amundson SJ. "Biomechanical aspects of handwriting in the educational setting." Phys Occup Ther Pediatr [Internet]. [ Links ] 1993; 13(2): 57-66. <http://ejournals.ebsco.com.ez.sun.ac.za/Issue.asp?IssueID=374224> (l8 Nov 2010).
30. Rosenblum S, Goldstand S, Parush S. Relationship among biomechanical ergonomic factors, handwriting product quality, handwriting efficiency, and computerized handwriting process measures in children with and without handwriting difficulties. Am J Occup Ther, 2006; 60(1): 28-39. [ Links ]
31. Berninger V Vaughan KB, Abbott RD, Abbott SP, Woodruff Rogan L, Brooks A, Reed E, Graham S. "Treatment of handwriting problems in beginning writers: Transfer from handwriting to composition." J Educ Psychol [Internet]. [ Links ] l997; 89(4): 652-66. < http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=l842f60ccele-4f33-b84e-8e6166f5203f%40sessionmgr12&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Journal+of+Educational+Psychology%22+AND+IK+%2219971201+00089+00004%22)&bdata=JmRiPXBkaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (10 Dec 2010).
32. Burton AW, Dancisak MJ. Grip form and graphomotor control in preschool children. Am J Occup Ther, 2000; 54(1): 9-17. [ Links ]
33. Dennis JL, Swinth Y Pencil grasp and children's handwriting legibility during different-length writing tasks. Am J Occup Ther, 2001; 55(2): 175-83. [ Links ]
34. Oehler E, Dekrey H, Eadry E, Fogo J, Lewis E, Maher C, Schilling A. The effect of pencil size and shape on the pre-writing skills of kindergartners. Phys Occup Ther Paediatr, 2000; l9(3): 53-60. [ Links ]
35. Readdick CA. "A descriptive study of toddlers and preschoolers drawing with primary and standard markers, pencils and crayons." J Research Child Educ [Internet]; [ Links ] 1994; 9(1): 68-74. < http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED325240.pdf > (18 Sep 2010).
36. Yakimishyn JE, Magill-Evans J. Comparisons among tools, surface orientation, and pencil grasp for children 23 months of age. Am J Occup Ther, 2002; 56(5): 564-73. [ Links ]
37. Burt C, Benbow M. Children and handwriting ergonomics. In: Lueder R, Berg Rice VJ, editors. Ergonomics for children: Designing products and places for toddlers to teens. London & NY: Taylor & Francis; 2008; 689-720. [ Links ]
38. Amundson SJ. Handwriting: Evaluation and intervention in school settings. In: Case-Smith J, Pehoski C, editors. Development of hand skills in the child. MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Incorporated, 1992; 63-78. [ Links ]
39. Daly CJ, Kelley GT, Krauss A. Relationship between visual-motor integration and handwriting skills of children in kindergarten: A modified replication study. Am J Occup Ther, 2003; 57(4): 459-62. [ Links ]
40. Cornhill H, Case-Smith J. Factors that relate to good and poor handwriting. Am J Occup Ther, 1996; 50(9): 732-39. [ Links ]
41. Denton PL, Cope S, Moser C. The effects of sensorimotor-based intervention versus therapeutic practise on improving handwriting performance in 6-11 year old children. Am J Occup Ther, 2006; 60(1): 16-27. [ Links ]
42. Feder KP Majnemer A, Bourbonnais D, Blayney M, Morin I. Handwriting performance on the ETCH-M of students in a grade one regular educational program. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr, 2007; 27(2): 43-62. [ Links ]
43. Tennyson J. "Effective occupational therapy intervention for handwriting/fine motor difficulties [thesis]." California: Humboldt State University; 2009. <http://hdl.handle.net/2l48/122> (18 Oct 2010). [ Links ]
44. Tseng MH, Chow SMK. Perceptual-motor function of school-age children with slow handwriting speed. Am J Occup Ther, 2000; 54(1): 83-7. [ Links ]
45. Exner CE. Development of hand skills. In: Case-Smith J, editor. Occupational therapy for children. 5th ed. Missouri: Elsevier Mosby, 2005: 304-56. [ Links ]
46. Rosenblum S, Josman N. The relationship between postural control and fine manual dexterity. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr, 2003; 23(4): 47-60. [ Links ]
47. Naider-Steinhart S, Katz-Leurer M. Analysis of proximal and distal muscle activity during handwriting tasks. Am J Occup Ther, 2007; 61(4): 392-9. [ Links ]
48. Weintraub N, Graham S. "The contribution of gender, orthographic, finger function, and visual-motor processes to the prediction of handwriting status." OTJR [Internet]. [ Links ] 2000; 20(2): 121-40. http://proquest.umi.com.ez.sun.ac.za/pqdlink?RQT=572&TS=1294847390&clientId=57290&VType=PQD&VName=PQD&VInst=PROD&PMID=39316&PCID=ll55062&SrtM=0&SrchMode=3&aid=l (24 Nov 2010).
49. Marr D, Windsor M, Cermak S. "Handwriting readiness: Locatives and visuomotor skills in the kindergarten year." ECRP [Internet]. [ Links ] 2001; 3(1). <http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v3n1/marr.html> (l5 Oct 2010).
50. Feder KP Majnemer A, Bourbonnais D, Platt R, Blayney M, Synnes A. Handwriting performance in preterm children compared with term peers at age 6 to 7 years. Dev Med Child Neurol, 2005; 47(3): 163-70. [ Links ]
51. Boudien CTF, Houwen S, Schoemaker MM. Fine motor skills and effects of methylphenidate in children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder and developmental coordination disorder. Dev Med Child Neurol, 2006; 48(3): 165-9. [ Links ]
52. Medwell J, Wray D. "Handwriting: What do we know and what do we need to know?" Literacy [Internet]. [ Links ] 2007; 41(1): 10-5. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=85cbc6eb-5886-4075-a52e-553648cf2fla%40sessionmgr4&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22 Literacy%22+AND+DT+2007040l)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTllaG9zdClsaXZl> (3 Nov 2010).
53. Berninger V, Amtmann D. Preventing written expression disabilities through early and continuing assessment and intervention for handwriting and/or spelling problems: Research into practice. In: Swanson L, Harris K, Graham S, editors. Handbook of learning disabilities. NY Guilford Press; 2004: 345-63. [ Links ]
54. Engel-Yeger B, Nagauker-Yanuv L, Rosenblum S. Handwriting performance, self-reports, and perceived self-efficacy among children with dysgraphia. Am J Occup Ther, 2009; 63(2): l82-92. [ Links ]
55. Feder KP Majnemer A. Children's handwriting evaluation tools and their psychometric properties. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr [Internet]. [ Links ] 2003 [cited 2009 Jun 16]; 23(3): 65-84. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J006v23n03_05.
56. O'Mahony F, Dempsey M, Killeen H. "Handwriting speed: Duration of testing period and relation to socio-economic disadvantage and handedness." Occup Ther Inter [Internet]. [ Links ] 2008; 15(3): 165-77. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/results?hid=9&sid=feb8e86I-27d4-4a4b-a859-b42197418886%40sessionmgr10&vid=2&bquery=(JN+%22Occupational+Therapy+International%22+AND+DT+2008090I)&bdata=JmRi PWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc210ZTIlaG9zdCIsaXZl > (10 Dec 2010).
57. Steinhardt RC, Richmond JE, Smith W. Writing Rate Information Test. Durban (SA): Occupational Therapy Department, Livingstone Primary School; 2005. [ Links ]
58. Hammerschmidt SL, Sudsawad P. Teacher's survey on problems with handwriting: Referral, evaluation, and outcomes. Am J Occup Ther 2004; 58: 182-92. [ Links ]
59. Wallen M, Walker R. Occupational therapy practise with children with perceptual motor dysfunction: Findings of a literature review and survey. Aust Occup Ther J. 1995; 42: 15-25. [ Links ]
60. Rodger S, Brown GT, Brown A. Profile of paediatric occupational therapy practice in Australia. Aust Occup Ther J. 2005; 52: 311-25. [ Links ]
61. Rodger S. A survey of assessments used by paediatric occupational therapists. Aust Occup Ther J. 1994; 41: 137-42. [ Links ]
62. Yost LW, Lesiak J. "The relationship between performance on the Developmental Test of Visual Perception and handwriting ability." Educ [Internet]. [ Links ] 200I <http://web.ebscohost.com.ez.sun.ac.za/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=9&sid=79c2675d-86bf-47b3-986I28dc2d7de549%40sessionmgrI2&vid=3> (19 Nov 2010).
Joanne van der Merwe
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the MOccTher at Stellenbosch University.