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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

Tina

Glasgow, East Renfrewshire

Tina is a Paediatric OT specialising in Sensory Integration. She is based in Glasgow and visits children across Scotland.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow (City of), Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, Glasgow

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

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

Cait

North Yorkshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Cait is an experienced Paediatric OT based in North Yorkshire, specialising in helping children with complex needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Leeds, Bradford

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Chailey Postural Management

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Lynn

Cambridgeshire, East Anglia

Lynn is an expert Paediatric Occupational Therapist, working with children in the East Midlands and Lincolnshire with Sensory Processing needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Midlands, East Anglia, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, AMPS

Specialist skills

Motivational interviewing, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support

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

Elana

Plymouth, Devon

With expertise in Sensory Integration, Elana supports children and their families across the South West of England.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Cornwall, Devon

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Jane

North Ayrshire, Scotland

Located in North Ayrshire, Jane is a Paediatric OT specialising in neurological conditions and complex needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, East Ayrshire, Glasgow (City of), Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

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

Lorraine

Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland

Based in Northumberland, Lorraine is an expert Paediatric OT supporting children of all ages with physical and sensory needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Cleveland, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Borders

Specialisms

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

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Chailey Postural Management

Specialist skills

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

Kirsty

Renfrewshire, Scotland

Kirsty is an expert Paediatric OT who supports children with a range of conditions across West Scotland.

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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

Richelle

Surrey, South East of England

Specialising in Neurological Rehabilitation and Paediatrics, Richelle is an OT based in Epsom, Surrey, visiting clients across the South East.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Surrey

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Lisa

Derbyshire, East Midlands

Based in Derbyshire, Lisa works across the North of England supporting adults and children with Housing & Equipment needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North West England, North East England, East Midlands, East Anglia, London, Ireland, Derbyshire

Specialisms

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

Amie

Somerset, West and South West of England

Based in Somerset, Amie is a highly experienced Occupational Therapist specialising in Neuro-Rehabilitation and visiting clients across the county.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Avon, Somerset, Bristol, Bath

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management

Katie

Gloucestershire, West and South West of England

Based in Tewkesbury, Katie is a specialist Paediatric OT delivering expert interventions across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, West and South West of England, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

AMPS

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Carien

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Based in Scotland, Carien provides expert Paediatric Occupational 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

Naima

Bedfordshire, South East of England

Naima is a Speech and Language Therapist offering expert interventions for children of all ages, across London and the South-East.

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Profession

Speech and Language Therapy

Regions covered

London, South East of England, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

School Based Therapy/Support, Makaton

Lucy

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Lucy is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist offering expert advice and treatment. She visits clients across London, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Surrey, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Conductive education

Specialist skills

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

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

Ann

Surrey, South East of England

Ann is an expert OT specialising in Neurological Rehabilitation, working with clients across London and the South of England.

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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

Claire

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Trained in advanced handwriting and sensory integration techniques, Claire is an experienced Paediatric OT helping children across the South East.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

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

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Counselling, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment

Sherean

Buckinghamshire, South East of England

Based in Buckinghamshire, Sherean delivers specialist housing & equipment and rehabilitation assessments to clients at home.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Midlands, South East of England, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Vocational Rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, AMPS, BIA

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Self care

Helen

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Based in St Albans, Helen is a Paediatric OT working with children across North London, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Essex.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South of England, Hertfordshire, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care

Ganga

Kent, South East of England

Ganga is a highly experienced OT delivering specialist rehabilitation for adults and children across the South East of England.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex, London - South, London - East, Brighton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Neurological rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Self care, Social integration

Lucy

Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham

With over 10 years’ experience, Lucy is an experienced Paediatric OT visiting children and their families across the North East.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North East England

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Chailey Postural Management, The Listening Programme

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support

Manpreet

Staffordshire, West Midlands

Located in Stafford, Manpreet is a Paediatric OT with expertise in Autism and Sensory Integration.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Rachel

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Based in Hertfordshire, Rachel is a highly skilled OT delivering specialist rehabilitation assessments to children and adults.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

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

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, AMPS

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, School Based Therapy/Support

Natalie

Kent, South East of England

Natalie is a Paediatric OT working across Kent and 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

Dawn

Cornwall, West and South West of England

Dawn is an OT based in Cornwall, providing expert assessments and therapy for both adult and paediatric clients.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Cornwall

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support

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

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

Catriona

London - South, London

Based in London, Catriona is an expert Paediatric OT, working with children with complex needs and 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

Lucy

Cambridgeshire, East Anglia

Lucy delivers expert Functional Rehabilitation and Housing & Equipment assessments for clients across East Anglia.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Midlands, East Anglia, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

AMPS, Train the trainer

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Pain management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Behaviour management, Co-ordination, Self care, Social integration

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