A survey to investigate how South African Occupational Therapists are assessing and treating poor handwriting in foundation phase learners: Part Two - Treatement and evaluation practices

Joanne van der Merwe, Neeltje Smit, Betsie Vlok


Handwriting is a functional skill of paramount importance for school-going children. Difficulties with this skill can result in poor academic performance and emotional distress which can potentially lead to school drop-out. These negative effects can be prevented by early remediation of handwriting difficulties.

 This is the second part of a two-part paper describing a telephonic survey of 162 South African occupational therapists working with Foundation Phase learners to remediate handwriting difficulties.  Part 1 describes demographic data and assessment practices.  Part 2 provides a description of the treatment and progress evaluation practices of the respondents.

Seventy two percent of the respondents treated learners individually and 67% utilised home programmes with every referral. The majority of therapists utilised an eclectic treatment approach, with sensory integration and psychosocial principles/techniques being most frequently used (<95%). The most popular means of evaluating progress were work sample comparisons (97%), review of treatment notes (94%), teacher interview/questionnaire (74%) and discussion with the learner (73%). The limited use of home programs may indicate an avenue for future research.

 KEYWORDS: Evaluation, Foundation Phase, Handwriting, Treatment, OT

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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