Hemispheres Think Write Handwriting Programme
Teaching all the components of handwriting
Handwriting is made up of visual symbols, auditory sounds and motor movements, all of which are processed by different parts of the brain. The usual method of teaching handwriting is based on look and copy and this is frequently structured around the auditory sequence of the phonetic programmes being used in schools.
The skill of handwriting is the bringing together of the sound, symbol and motor patterns. In children to have difficulty with handwriting, Occupational Therapists often see an inability to integrate one or two of these connections and more frequently it is the motor movement which remains the weakest connection. This means that children have to ‘think hard’ about how to write the letter, to form the correct orientation, size, placement and formation. This level of conscious thinking arrests many children’s handwriting development and contributes to the development of a negative mindset of themselves as a writer.
The Hemispheres Think Write Handwriting Programme takes into account all of these areas. However, it is not a phonetic programme: it is a programme for teaching the letter formation, with the correct size, height, spatial placement and formation. The aim of the programme is to reduce the cognitive effort children are using when they write.
The Hemispheres Think Write Handwriting Programme sets up the structure which links image and the rules for formation together, to make learning to write simpler. A key component of the programme is to make a neurologically complex activity, fun, interactive and engaging for young children so they have an internal cognitive structure that they can understand, apply and use in their own writing to enhance the self-directed learning.
I want to say, that whilst the results of the studies show that the programme is effective in helping children with and without disabilities, there will still be a proportion of children in mainstream school that will benefit from additional support. The beauty of the Hemispheres Think Write Handwriting Programme is that you can use the same resources, materials and programme to support those children without the need to introduce a new programme with additional rules which are more likely to cause further confusion.
Specialist Clinical Occupational Therapist
Director of Hemispheres Movement for Learning Ltd
and Hemispheres Think Write Limited