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Children's handwriting difficulties

A child struggling with handwriting may soon become frustrated and lose motivation. Proactive, early action ensures that their difficulties are addressed quickly and minimises the impact on their progress at school.

We regularly assist children with handwriting difficulties and have developed our own programme which can be delivered at home and/or school. And when we help a child with their handwriting, we typically observe improvements in other areas of development too, including their academic progress and behaviour.

How OT's help

Whether your child's school has identified that their handwriting is falling behind that of their peers, or you have noticed such difficulties yourself, we can help. Parents contact us for a variety of reasons related to handwriting, but some of the most common difficulties to which it may contribute include:

  • Difficulty remembering how to form letters or in copying from a book or whiteboard
  • Poor spacing and positioning of letters and words
  • Discomfort in gripping a pencil for any length of time
  • Weak fine motor skills, hand strength and dexterity
  • An unwillingness to complete written homework
  • Difficulties concentrating, or poor behavior in the classroom that is less evident in the playground
  • Excessive tiredness after short periods of writing

Our assessment process allows a specialist occupational therapist to identify the nature of your child's difficulties with handwriting, and the reasons for them. Once identified, we can work with you and your child to put in place a plan to address them.

Packages of care

We are flexible around the needs of your child and family and have a variety of handwriting treatment packages to ensure we provide the right solution for you. All of our interventions are oriented towards ensuring that you and your child see measurable improvements.

This might include one or more of the following:

  • An eight-week block of one-to-one bespoke handwriting treatment sessions, delivered to your child at home or school, after which we will review and plan the next steps with you
  • An intensive block of treatment delivered over the holidays - this is popular with overseas families, or those with limited weekend or after-school capacity in term time
  • A home and school programme providing practical, everyday techniques, with advice and support to ensure that the approach is consistent throughout your child's day
  • Attendance at a handwriting group at weekends or over the holidays

Common areas we work on

Through our assessment we will identify the specific areas of handwriting that your child is struggling with, and the source of these difficulties, allowing us to plan a targeted treatment programme.

Some of the most common areas that we would expect to be working on include:

  • Developing a mature pencil grip
  • Assuming and maintaining an effective seating posture
  • Correct letter formation
  • Development of pre-writing and copying skills
  • Activities to increase core and shoulder stability
  • Fine motor skills, hand strength and dexterity
  • Organisation and presentation of work on the page
  • Working with parents and schools to ensure that the right approaches to handwriting continue even when the OT is not present

Schools, LEAs and businesses

Is your organisation looking for professional OT services?

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Why The OT Practice

We recognise the importance of knowing that you and your child are in safe hands. That is why, when you first make contact with us, you will straightaway be able to explain your concerns to a member of our client management team who will be able to provide relevant information about our services, answer any questions you may have and provide guidance on next steps. This dedicated paediatric team will then remain in charge of your case through any subsequent assessment and treatment we provide.

Other reasons to rely on The OT Practice include:

  • We visit you and your child at home or school at a time convenient for you, with no clinics or waiting lists, offering after-school and weekend appointments where necessary
  • We devise home and school-based treatment plans to ensure that our assessment and advice is relevant to each child’s unique environment
  • Our nationwide network of registered children’s occupational therapists allows us to find you the right local therapist
  • Intensive treatment available during the school holidays
  • We believe our role is to equip you and your child to become as autonomous as possible – ultimately independent of, and not dependent upon, the help we provide

Services for businesses, organisations and the public sector

Schools

Delivering individual or group therapy for children, or advice and training to up-skill members of staff.

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Local education authorities

Occupational therapy provision at home or school as recommended in an EHCP or Statement on behalf of LEA's.

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Healthcare concierge

Assessment and treatment services for clients in their own homes both in the UK and internationally.

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Next steps

Initial enquiry

During your initial call to us you can discuss your concerns with a member of our paediatric client management team, who will be able to understand what your child's difficulties are, provide information and advice on our services and identify the right OT from our team.

Quote

If therapist input is recommended, we will send you a detailed quote via email or in writing explaining what, after a full assessment, we propose and how much it would cost, as well as rates for further work that might be recommended in the future.

Referral

Once you have had time to consider the options and costs, and if you would like to go ahead, the next step would be to fill in our online referral form. In the meantime, if you have further concerns or questions then our client manager will be happy to discuss them with you.

Assessment

Our therapist will then contact you within 24 hours to arrange an assessment visit at home or school, a mixture of formal and observational methods - as well as conversation with yourself, your child and their school - after which you will receive a comprehensive written report.

Advice

The report will include a clear record of our findings and recommendations, together with practical advice on how to help your child. Where additional involvement is required, we will follow up the report with a detailed quotation so that you have all the information needed to make an informed decision.

As Private Occupational Therapists our aim is to provide choices and guidance to help you decide what the best options are for you

Joanne

Surrey, South East of England

Based in Surrey, Joanne is an expert paediatric occupational therapist, treating children at home, in school or at nursery.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South of England, South East of England, Surrey, London - Central, London - South, London - West

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, DMO (Lycra) Splinting, School Based Therapy/Support

Katy

Durham, North East England

Katy is a Paediatric OT based in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, experienced helping with a variety of physical and sensory needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North West England, North East England, Cleveland, Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Chailey Postural Management, The Listening Programme

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, School Based Therapy/Support

Susan

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Qualifying in 2004, Susan specialises in housing & equipment, seating & postural management and moving & handling for children.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicester, Derby

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Community access, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution

Sarah

Bedfordshire, East Anglia

Sarah is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist and Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration based in Bedfordshire, near Luton and Milton Keynes.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, London, South East of England, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Conductive education, Therapeutic listening, Train the trainer, Sensory Attachment Therapy

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation, Sensory attachment intervention, Learning disability

Ann

Surrey, South East of England

Ann is an expert neurological rehabilitation OT, working with clients in their own homes in London and the surrounding areas.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South of England, Surrey, London - South

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Daily living skills, Community access, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Visual perception, Self care, Postural management, Splinting

Rachel

Shropshire, West Midlands

Based in Shrewsbury, Rachel is an experienced Paediatric OT offering assessments and care to children at home and school.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North West England, West Midlands, Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Powys, Wrexham, Birmingham, Liverpool, Wolverhampton

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Louise

Essex, East Anglia

Trained in advanced sensory integration techniques, Louise treats both children and adults at home, school and work.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, South East of England, Essex, Suffolk

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Behaviour management, Social integration, Anxiety management & relaxation

Eve

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Eve is a highly experienced Occupational Therapist working with children in the Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire areas.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, Sheffield

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling

Catriona

London - South, London

Based in London Catriona is an expert Occupational Therapist, working with children with a range of conditions.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South East of England , London - South

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Chailey Postural Management

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Pain management, Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation

Jane

Wiltshire, South East of England

Qualifying in 2000, Jane specialises in housing & equipment, rehabilitation and seating & postural management for adults and children.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, South of England, South East of England, Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Southampton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Rachael

Buckinghamshire, South East of England

Rachel is an expert paediatric occupational therapist working in London, with children and their families in their homes and schools.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, Buckinghamshire, London - Central

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Self care

Joanne

Birmingham, Worcestershire

Joanne assesses and treats children in the West Midlands with a range of conditions, helping them achieve their maximum ability.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation, Learning disability

Lana

London - North, London

Lana is an expert paediatric OT, specialising in Sensory Integration. She works with children and their families in London

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South East of England, Middlesex, London - Central, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support

Liz

Buckinghamshire, South East of England

Liz is a highly regarded Occupational Therapist working with children in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, West Midlands and London.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, London, South East of England, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Community access, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Sarah

Devon, West and South West of England

Based in Devon, Sarah is a Paediatric OT offering assessments and treatments for children in both home and school settings.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

, Devon

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation, Learning disability

Zandri

London

Based in London, Zandri is a Paediatric OT specialising in Sensory Integration, providing support for children at home and school.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, The Listening Programme

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Visual perception, School Based Therapy/Support

Shira

London - Central, Middlesex

Shira is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist specialising in Sensory Integration. She is based in London, visiting clients across the city.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, Middlesex, London - North, London - East, London - West

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Visual perception, School Based Therapy/Support

Kirsty

Renfrewshire, Scotland

An expert occupational therapist, Kirsty works with children with a range of conditions in West Scotland in their own environments.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Glasgow (City of), Glasgow

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Counselling

Jonathan

Birmingham, Worcestershire

Jonathan is an expert Children's OT who specialises in complex and long term conditions, working with children and their families.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, London - West, Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Self care, Postural management

Gemma

Wiltshire, West and South West of England

Located in Chippenham, Wiltshire, Gemma is a Paediatric OT providing specialist Housing & Equipment advice to children and their families.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Berkshire, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath, Swindon

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Postural management

Joanne

Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Located in Mid-Ulster, Northern Ireland, Joanne is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist offering specialist assessments and treatment.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Northern Ireland, Antrim, Armagh, Down, Londonderry, Tyrone, Belfast

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

AMPS

Specialist skills

Motivational interviewing, Routine planning, Financial management, Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation

Janet

Kent, South East of England

Janet is an expert Occupational Therapist specialising in paediatrics and neurological rehabilitation, she works with children at home and school.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South East of England, Kent, London - Central, London - South, London - East

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care, Social integration, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Carien

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Based in Scotland, Carien provides expert paediatric therapy helping children with handwriting, sensory and complex physical needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Cumbria, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh (City of), Fife, Glasgow (City of), Midlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Perthshire and Kinross, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian, Glasgow, Edinburgh

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Blue Badges / Mobility Assessments, Fatigue management, Pain management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration

Natalie

Kent, South East of England

Natalie is an expert occupational therapist working in Kent & the South East, providing support to children and their families.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

BOBATH

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support

Lone

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Trained in advanced sensory integration techniques and both Bobath and Chailey approaches, Lone treats children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, London, South East of England, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, London - Central, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, BOBATH, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care

Clare

Kent, South East of England

Based near Rochester in Kent, Clare is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist specialising in autism, learning disabilities, and sensory processing.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Samantha

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Trained in advanced sensory integration and therapeutic listening techniques, Sam helps families by treating children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North East England, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Wakefield, Salford

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Social integration

Debbie

Middlesex, London

Debbie is an expert speech and language therapist, delivering specialist assessments and treatment to children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Speech and Language Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, London, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, London - Central, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

School Based Therapy/Support

Michaela

Essex, East Anglia

Based in Essex, Michaela is an expert paediatric Occupational Therapist working with children with sensory needs in their own environments.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, Essex, Suffolk, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support

Alison

Coventry, West Midlands

Based in Coventry, Alison has been a Paediatric OT for over 10 years, specialising in fine motor skills and handwriting.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Coventry

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Co-ordination, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support

Client feedback

Further reading

Our Experts' Blog

How and when to source a children’s Occupational Therapist

Paediatric occupational therapy is a specialism of the profession where the OT is able to assess and treat the physical, mental and cognitive aspects of a child’s development. They look at the whole child to facilitate and support them and their family to achieve maximum independence and access the opportunities within the world around them.

Read more

Our news & press

Radio 5 Live interview with our Paediatric Client Manager: Handwriting

Is there a right and wrong way to hold a pencil? When Radio 5 Live presenters approached us to find out, our Paediatric Client Manager Sarah Stagg was only too pleased to explain.

Read more