Handwriting is important anytime that you are using a pen/pencil to write words or numbers.
Writing is a lot more complicated than you think!
Below are all the underpinning skills that a child requires to become an efficient writer.
Gross Motor Skills: performing tasks using the larger muscles in the body
- Postural stability – being able to sit still on the chair
- Balance – maintaining a good, still posture
- Bilateral intergration – using both sides of the body
- Body and spatial awareness – knowing where your body is in space
- Crossing the midline of body with your arm without moving the whole body
Fine Motor Skills: - Precise motor activities with hand and fingers
- Laterality – knowing what hand to use
- In-hand manipulations – being able to manipulate a small object in your hand
- Hand strength
- Correct pencil grip
Visual perceptual skills: is the ability to look at, process and make sense of visual information and use it appropriately
- Visual discrimination – ability to see likenesses and differences, matching, recognition, categorisation
- Spatial relationships – understanding the space around himself/herself
- Visual motor integration – is the co-ordination and integration of the eyes with the muscle of the body
- Figure ground – recognition of figures embedded within a background
- Eye-hand co-ordination – to be able to guide the hand visually to complete a task
- Sequencing – being able to do a series of movements in a set order
- Visual closure – visualising the end product
- Visual memory – remember what the eyes see. Both long term and short term memory
- Visual attention/concentration – maintaining attention and concentration
- Eye tracking – being able maintain focus and follow across the page with your eyes
Auditory perceptual skills: is the ability to listen, process and make sense of information that you have heard and use it appropriately
- Auditory Discrimination : the ability to hear the difference between words and sentences that sound very similar
- Auditory Memory: the ability to recall information that is presented via the auditory channel only
- Auditory Figure-Ground: paying attention to a signal (teacher’s voice) while ‘blocking out’ the background noise
- Auditory Attention: maintaining focus on a listening task
When a number of these skills are not established or well developed it will make the handwriting process difficult.
However the good news is that handwriting/writing skills can be improved.