Handwriting Is Still as Important as Typing and Texting

HandwritingWith tablets and computers, text messages and emails, do we even need to write anything by hand anymore? The answer is “Yes!”

All day long, we jot reminder notes and write to-do lists. We fill out job applications and medical forms. Handwriting is still an essential part of our everyday lives and a vital skill for children to master. In addition, handwriting is the basis for a variety of other important skills like hand-eye coordination, letter and number recognition, fine motor skills and reading.

Children learn best through motor movements. Try a “hands on” approach to teaching handwriting by using building blocks, scribbling and teaching letters and numbers. 

Handwriting can be very complicated, because it integrates many different skills and physical abilities. Children need the right core, arm and hand strength and endurance to be able to write. 

If your child is having problems with handwriting, ensure your child is:

  • Sitting at a table with his or her feet on the floor. You’d be surprised how important posture is when writing. Try picking your feet up from the floor and writing a sentence. It’s difficult!
  • Holding the pencil correctly. If not, give him or her a pencil grip or triangular shaped pencils and crayons.
  • Able to identify capital or lowercase letters or numbers using flashcards. It’s important to be able to recognize letters and numbers; otherwise, writing is just a bunch of lines and curves without meaning.

At what time do we look at keyboarding as an alternative to handwriting? As children learn to write, some children will continue to have difficulty and struggle with writing.

When the child is demonstrating difficulty in school which affects their ability to keep up with their educational requirements in writing tasks, the teacher / parent is unable to read their writing and the child requires increased time for writing; Keyboarding may then be a consideration for the child.

To assess a child’s ability to type there are considerations such as:

  • Will the typing be used on a mobile device, tablet or computer?
  • Does the child require an adaptive keyboard?
  • What software program is best used to teach typing to a younger child?

If you have concerns about your child’s handwriting or want to learn more about a transition to typing, schedule an evaluation with a pediatric occupational therapist by calling 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us online.

If your child is still having a problem with handwriting, a pediatric occupational therapist can help him or her to improve posture, fine motor, visual motor and strength skills. Call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.

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