Leiden Professorenwijk
Leiden Professorenwijk

Pediatric physiotherapie and writing problems

Good handwriting is important for the language development of a child. It contributes to the sound-sign coupling for reading. Succeeding in writing is important for the wellbeing of children.

Well taught writing contributes to recognising letters and their shapes en thus strengthen the ability to learn to read.
The ability to write improves the information processing in groups 3 to 5 (Dutch system).

An easy and well readable handwriting contributes to a stronger self-image of the child and thus has a positive influence on their school period.
Research shows that written information, when compared to typed information, is absorbed and retained better.

How to recognise a writing disorder.

A motorical writing disorder can be recognised in that handwriting is barely or not readable, and/or the speed is very low and/or the process of writing cannot be taught within the normal timeframe.

Pain during writing is also a strong indicator.

(Left handed handwriting also comlicates the writing process.)

What kind of writing problems exist:

Motorical writing problems.
Problems holding the pen(cil) and coordinating the pen(cil). (for example: colouring between the lines)
Learning disabilities and attention problems
Because of learning problems or problems with spatial awareness, makes that children can make their own letters.
Motorical problems combined with learning disabilities
Because writing drains a lot of energy, there is less space to learn the letters.
Learning how to write takes a lot of time: The letter remain big, are not produced in the right manner and are often barely readable.
Didactical problems
Illness of a teacher can result in not sufficient writing exposure at school.

Childrens physiotherapy and writing problems?
The therapist looks for the origin of the writing problems. Is the child using his/her vingers while writing, or is writing still done using the wrist movement.
The therapist will exercise the use of the fingers to write.

Often, children still experience problems with pen coordination in third grade (Dutch system).
As a result, all of their focus is on the pen coordination. They have less attention for the letter shape and direction, resulting in incorrect automation of letters.

For children where writing problems do not only originate from motorical problems, there are often underlying problems. For example: learning disabilities.
Here, the therapist can aid in recognising the signal and referral to other specialist.