OccupationalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-9924

What is the Difference Between a Traditional Versus an Auditory Approach to Handwriting?

Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L, Luca Canever, MA, BA

March 1, 2023



What is the difference between a traditional versus an auditory approach to handwriting?


  • Traditional
    • Plenty of Instructions
    • Focus on Incorrect
    • Correct Errors
  • Acoustic Approach (TAGteach)
    • Few Instructions
    • Short Instructions
    • Focus on Success
    • Ignore Errors

There are two different approaches. In the traditional approach, we give a lot of instruction because we want to be sure that our learners have all the information before they try to do the behavior. We also focus on incorrect responses. Our feedback is, "This is correct, but you forgot to do XYZ," or "Next time, try to improve XYZ." In TAGteach, we deliver a few instructions and focus on success. The sound of the tagger when completing the task is the tag point. The therapist ignores the errors. 

  • Minimal Verbal Intrusion
  • Shaping (teaching without words)
  • Clear Information
  • Focus on:
    • Behavior components (break it down)
    • Learner's Success

The benefits of an acoustic approach (TAGteach) are listed above. We use minimal verbal intrusion. For example, when working with autistic students, they may respond better to less verbal instruction. The less we talk, the better for the student.

We can also rely on shaping with nonverbal students. We are providing clear information. By the end of my instructing the students, the students will know 100% what they are supposed to do, and that is where they can find success.

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, Teach Handwriting Using Auditory Feedbackby Aditi Mehra
DHSc, OTR/L, and Luca Canever, MA, BA.

aditi mehra

Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L

Dr. Aditi Mehra graduated with a Bachelor's in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and pursued her Doctorate in Health Sciences at Midwestern University in Illinois. She has practiced as a pediatric OT for the past 23 yrs in various settings. During her Doctoral Studies, Dr. Mehra also pursued a certification in Behavior Analysis to gain a better understanding of behavioral challenges in OT. Once she delved deeper into this field, Dr. Mehra discovered Fit Learning, an academic program that combines the science of building fluency and charting data to optimize learning. Once she realized the ease and profound effectiveness of this charting system, Dr. Mehra implemented this charting system in her own practice. This soon became her passion, and she now offers classes and consultations to other professionals seeking to become more data-driven in their practice. 

She offers several data-based free resources on her website, www.DrAdititheOT.com. Dr. Mehra is the director of the Chicago Fit learning lab, an adjunct professor at Lewis University, and continues to work in the school setting as a pediatric OT.


luca canever

Luca Canever, MA, BA

Luca Canever has a Bachelor's in Arts and Humanities and a Master's in Special Needs Education from Padova University. He is a TAGteach International Faculty member and a special needs teacher at Art High School in Verona.



Related Courses

Teach Handwriting Using Auditory Feedback
Presented by Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L, Luca Canever, MA, BA


Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/LLuca Canever, MA, BA
Course: #5837Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'something completely new that I have never heard about before'   Read Reviews
Positive reinforcement is an underused yet highly valuable strategy known to motivate students and expedite the learning process. TAGteach is an acoustic form of positive reinforcement utilized to expedite the learning curve in gymnasts, medical students, golfers, etc. Discover how this simple auditory cue can be applied to address handwriting goals faster in OT.

How To Fix Common Handwriting Challenges In Pediatric Therapy
Presented by Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L


Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L
Course: #5157Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'I liked the video and examples of real students'   Read Reviews
This course addresses the myriad of underlying issues which can impact handwriting performance, from the basics of pencil grip, letter formation, pace, and the sensory-motor mechanics required for handwriting success. Upon the completion of this course, practitioners will have access to simple step by step strategies with worksheets they can use the very next day to implement fluency-based handwriting interventions and make data based decisions in everyday practice.

Telehealth OT: Using Pediatric Case Studies to Inform Practice
Presented by Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L


Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L
Course: #4735Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'The presenter was very thorough and presented ideas very applicable to telehealth'   Read Reviews
Telehealth is becoming an increasingly used service delivery model in pediatric OT due to a myriad of reasons however; it does present some unique challenges when servicing the pediatric population. This course is a presentation of case studies offering clinicians an opportunity to strategize intervention and problem solve real clinical scenarios applicable to general practice.

The Magic of Mindfulness: Evidence Based Guidelines for Practicing the Art of Mindfulness in Children
Presented by Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L


Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L
Course: #4532Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Applicable information for practicing mindfulness backed by sound reasoning'   Read Reviews
This is an introductory course to the art of mindfulness as an intervention tool for pediatric occupational therapists. Practitioners will gain an insight to the step by step process to not only practice mindfulness for their own wellbeing but will also learn techniques and strategies to effectively teach mindfulness to children.

Trauma Informed Care: What Does An Occupational Therapy Practitioner Need To Know?
Presented by Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L


Aditi Mehra, DHSc, OTR/L
Course: #6110Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'I learned of new strategies to even identified if someone is dealing with trauma, and the case study helped a lot to see it in a actual setting'   Read Reviews
The significance of recognizing and addressing the complex impacts of trauma on both clients and practitioners, to not only tailor interventions that foster holistic healing and growth but also empower us to forge deeper therapeutic connections, will be explored in this course. This content will help you learn how to use evidence-based strategies rooted in trauma-informed principles to extend compassionate support to those we serve and cultivate an empathetic foundation to navigate our own personal and professional experiences of trauma.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.