Research Projects

Speed and Legibility of Handwriting of First and Second Grade Children

Year funded: 2005

Karen Roston, M.A., OT
Jim Hinojosa, Ph.D., OT, FAOTA, Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University

Project Abstract

In the New York City Department of Education, there are more than 30,000 students mandated for occupational therapy services. In the regional (general education) schools, occupational therapists get most of their referrals from teachers or parents who feel that a child has handwriting difficulties in the areas of legibility or speed.  The purpose of this study is to determine the ranges of speed and legibility of the handwriting of typically developing first and second grade students, including quantitative and qualitative measurements of movement patterns that may negatively affect task performance. 

The Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA, Reisman, 1991) is used to assess speed and legibility to see if it would be effective as a screening tool. The Handwriting Checklist developed for this study documents postural, tools, components, and grasp during the writing task.