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Brain Research Shows Links Between Handwriting and Literacy

Handwriting helps develop the brain for literacy, according to critical evidence compiled in our white paper, Handwriting in Early Childhood: A Strategy for School Success.

  • Writing by hand engages the brain in learning and especially activates the reading circuits of the brain.
  • Higher handwriting quality correlates with greater density of brain cells—a signal of higher ability and skills—in the area of the brain responsible for phonological decoding.
  • Improving fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in preschool children may be a key to improving academic skills in the long term.
Download the White Paper

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Handwriting Instruction and Practice Benefit Older Students

Research with elementary and adolescent students shows that the goal of handwriting instruction and practice should be to produce agile, fluent writing. Findings are summarized in our white paper, Handwriting in the Middle Years: A Strategy for Academic & Professional Success.

  • Direct handwriting instruction improves the legibility and fluency of writing through grade 9, also increasing the length and quality of writing assignments.
  • Poor handwriting can impact students’ scores in math and other areas throughout high school and college.
  • Fluent cursive writing predicts higher-level spelling and composing skills than manuscript writing or typing.
Download the White Paper

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Developing Effective Partnerships Between Classroom Teachers and Occupational Therapists

Students often get referred to occupational therapy because they have illegible handwriting. Read our research-based take on how teachers and therapists can work together to help each student thrive. Plus, the article includes a checklist that teachers can use to help determine when to consult an occupational therapist for handwriting-related remediation.

Download Article and Checklist