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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.



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