Does handwriting instruction have a place in the instructional day? The relationship between handwriting quality and academic success
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Handwriting is a foundational skill needed by students to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, and math. Occupational therapists who work in schools are tasked with providing remedial services for students who demonstrate deficits in underlying handwriting mechanics, as opposed to deficits in following handwriting conventions. Despite this, therapists frequently find the referred stu- dent has none of the expected mechanical constraints, but instead lacks knowledge of letter, number, and punctuation mark formation. This is often an outcome of not being exposed to explicit handwriting instruction. As a result, the researchers sought to determine whether a relationship exists between academic success in reading, writing, and math and the quality of handwriting by comparing standards-based report card grades in reading, writing, and math to scores from the Handwriting Without Tears Screener of Handwriting Proficiency. Results indicated a significant positive correlation exists between academic success in writing and reading and quality of handwriting. The implications of this research suggest there is a further need to explore whether instructional time should be allocated for handwriting instruction in the classroom, potentially contributing to increased academic success for students.