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Motor and Sensory Preparation for Handwriting Activiites

Helene Gillespie, Ph.D., OTR/L

October 25, 2012

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Question

Do you encourage movement activities in the classroom in order to prepare students for fine motor writing tasks?

Answer

I think it is really important to prepare the arms and hands for fine motor tasks by giving motor and sensory imput.  For instance, I often have the students do some gross motor tasks prior to handwriting such as: pushing or pulling a large therapy ball, performing wall push-ups, pushing an activity cart from one center to another or bear crawling back to the classroom.  

By performing these gross motor and sensory movements, it not only gets some of the "ants" out, but it gets their arms and hands prepared for the finer, more precise movements required for handwriting.


helene gillespie

Helene Gillespie, Ph.D., OTR/L

Dr. Gillespie has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist in both school-based and private
practice settings for over 35 years. Because of her strong interest in the field of
learning disabilities, she completed a Ph.D. in that area, with a concentration in cognitive
neuroscience, in 2003. Helene's doctoral research focused on component skills of handwriting.
Currently, Dr. Gillespie is a consultant for a special education cooperative. Additionally, she consults with
parents and teachers through her private practice: OT in the Classroom, LLC.


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