First, know that we believe every child develops and grows at their own unique pace. We meet a child where they are developmentally, and we give them tools to learn and improve their written communication while building on their strengths.
With that said, we also want to be vigilant with handwriting issues because it is much easier to address these issues earlier. That doesn’t mean we cannot help an older child, it just means that it will take more work to retrain the brain and hands. Your child’s teacher will be a great resource for you regarding your child’s handwriting abilities. The teacher should be able to communicate if the child is on target with writing or struggling with certain parts (pencil grasp, lowercase letters, etc.) You, as a parent, can also be aware by looking at the child’s writing they bring home in their backpack, or noticing differences in your child’s writing as compared to the rest of the classmates. You can refer to our Blog Post regarding development of handwriting to see expectations of different age groups.
Also, observe how your child behaves during handwriting. Do they get frustrated? Fatigued? Distracted? Do they have an awkward pencil grasp? Is their writing considered “neat” for their age? Do they have an awareness of the lines on the page? How is their alphabet knowledge? Do they rush through the writing? Can they form both capital and lowercase? Do they reverse their letters or numbers frequently? Do they avoid writing altogether? How are their fine motor skills, such as scissor cutting, drawing, tying shoelaces, stringing beads?
Children do not need a diagnosis to need handwriting tutoring. Sometimes they need extra help because they never received appropriate teaching of letters and numbers, other times they just fell behind or lacked confidence or did not get enough high quality practice. Of course if your child does have a diagnosis, such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, ADHD, Autism, etc. then you will definitely want to address handwriting as it can be delayed in part due to their neurological wiring.
If you have concerns with your child’s handwriting, please reach out to Handwriting Solutions with your questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help build the foundation of a lifelong skill!