1. Can you give me individual advice for my child?
We are a charity, consisting mainly of volunteers, and work primarily with teachers, schools, universities and therapists to establish good handwriting policies and practice. Our resources are limited and, unfortunately, at this time we cannot deal with individual queries regarding private tuition and help. You will find helpful information about handwriting from our publications section.
2. Is joining NHA and receiving the Journal useful for me as a parent?
While the articles and information in the journal are very clear and user friendly, you might want to encourage your child’s school to join NHA. In this way we can exchange information, help to raise standards and support those who teach children with handwriting problems. The publications are written for parents as well as professionals, and are well worth buying.
See more information in Handwriting… are you concerned?
3. Can you recommend tutors?
Patoss (Professional Association of Teacher of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties) has the Tutor Index which is a nationwide list of suitably qualified teachers/tutors willing to carry out assessments – both for teaching and for exam special arrangements – or to give private lessons. All those on the list are Patoss members who have either the RSA/OCR Diploma or Certificate in SpLD of are AMBDA. Details include qualifications, special professional interests, and preferred age ranges. Updated annually, it is available to non-members by post. For more information contact Patoss.
4. Do you help adults with handwriting?
We plan to improve our provision for adults but in the meantime, you might find the following publication helpful:
Improve Your Handwriting: Teach Yourself by Rosemary Sassoon
The book covers self-diagnosis, pen hold, the particular problems of left-handers and the impediments caused by medical conditions. It does not attempt to impose a particular handwriting model, but offers alternatives and encourages readers to experiment and chose how best to improve their legibility and speed. Dr Sassoon is a handwriting consultant specialising in both medical and educational aspects of this skill.
5. Do you know of any other people, places, web sites, or organisations that might help my child?
The Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, Frensham, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3BW Tel: 01252 792400 provides a range of services including assessment and tuition.
Paediatric Occupational Therapists at your local Child Development Centre will assess your child for any underlying motor or perceptual reasons for your child’s handwriting difficulties. Referral is normally by your GP or school doctor.
Your school SENCO should have information about local help available.
The British Dyslexia Association Helpline: 0118 966 8271
Check out our useful links page.
6. Is it possible to improve a secondary school student’s handwriting once they have established a style, or does it automatically lead to a reduction in the child’s writing speed?
Changing a writing style is a major undertaking and is dependent upon the student’s drive and motivation to make that change. In the short term it will almost certainly lead to a reduction in the child’s writing speed. Continual practice of the new style with short, frequent practice sessions will be necessary. It can then be used in situations where speed is not a requirement, only putting it into ‘everyday’ use when it is thoroughly learned and has become faster and automatic. You may also find the book Handwriting in the Secondary School useful.
7. Can you offer help and advice for left-handers?
Writing Left-Handed by the NHA, is available via this website, with a discount for members.
Teaching Left-Handers to Write by the Handedness Research Institute looks helpful.
Anything left-handed offers supplies, information on left-handedness and a club for left-handers.
Lefthand education offers advice, products and training for teachers and parents of left handed children.
Please contact us if you have other questions.