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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

Charlotte

Birmingham, West Midlands

Charlotte is a dedicated Occupational Therapist specializing in Pediatrics and Sensory Integration, serving the community in Birmingham, West Midlands.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation, Learning disability, Mental Health

Georgia

London - North, London

Georgia is a highly skilled occupational therapist with expertise in Paediatrics, Functional rehab, Social integration, and Mental health.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, Essex, Hertfordshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Functional rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Social integration, Learning disability, Mental Health

Mamta

London - North, Middlesex

Mamta is an expert Paediatric Speech & Language Therapist, working with children and their families across London.

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Profession

Speech and Language Therapy

Regions covered

London, Middlesex, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

School Based Therapy/Support

Ciara

Tyrone, Northern Ireland

With over 20 years of experience, Occupational Therapist Ciara specializes in pediatrics and sensory integration, serving Northern Ireland.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Northern Ireland, Antrim, Armagh, Down, Tyrone

Specialisms

Paediatrics

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, School Based Therapy/Support

Louise

Bradford, West Yorkshire

Occupational Therapist Louise specializes in pediatrics, sensory integration, and Chailey postural management. She is fluent in Cantonese.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North West England, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Wakefield, Salford

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Chailey Postural Management

Specialist skills

Fatigue 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, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Rose

Bedfordshire

Rose conducts assessments with clients, providing intervention to improve their safety and independence within their home environment.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire

Specialisms

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

Further qualifications

BIA

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments

Robyn

London - East, London

Occupational Therapist Robyn is a Paediatrics specialist working in London (Bow, Mile End, Stratford, Bethnal Green).

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London , London - Central, London - North, London - South, London - East, London - West

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Sensory Attachment Therapy

Specialist skills

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

Tamsin

London - South, London

Based in London, Tamsin is an expert Speech and Language Therapist who supports children in both home and school settings.

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Profession

Speech and Language Therapy

Regions covered

London

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

Behaviour management, School Based Therapy/Support

Lone

Essex, East Anglia

Specialising in Advanced Sensory Integration 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, Essex, Suffolk, London - Central, London - North, London - East

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, BOBATH, Train the trainer, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

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

Dani-Lee

London - South, Surrey

Dani-Lee is an experienced sensory integration paediatric occupational therapist.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, Surrey, London - South

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration

Joni

London - South, London

Joni, an experienced OT with a passion for pediatrics, sensory integration, and therapeutic listening, makes a positive impact in London.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London , London - Central, London - South, London - West

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

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

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

Sylwia

Surrey, South of England

Sylwia works in Surrey delivering Paediatric services and is familiar with a variety of conditions.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Surrey

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

Daily living skills

Natasha

London - Central, Essex

Natasha is a highly skilled occupational therapist specialising in paediatrics and sensory integration.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, Essex

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory 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

Hannah

Hampshire, South of England

Specialising in Paediatrics, Hannah is an experienced OT located in Basingstoke.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South of England, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills

Morven

Edinburgh, East Lothian

Morven has over 30 years' experience as an OT in paediatric and adult hand therapy, neuro rehabilitation and more.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Midlothian, Perthshire and Kinross, Stirling, West Lothian, Glasgow, Edinburgh

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Hand Therapy, Housing and Equipment, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Train the trainer

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Community access, Fine motor skills, Self care, Social integration, Anxiety management & relaxation

Bhawna

Coventry, Warwickshire

Bhawna, a paediatric Occupational Therapist specialising in sensory integration and a certified CO-OP practitioner assists clients with their motor skills.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

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

Lorna

Shropshire, West Midlands

Lorna is a Paediatric OT located in Shropshire, supporting with sensory and motor needs for clients across the West Midlands.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Wales, Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Powys, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

Motivational interviewing, Counselling, Fatigue management, Pain management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Financial management, Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation

Sue

Gloucestershire, West and South West of England

As an OT with nearly 40 years of experience, Sue is an expert in paediatrics; vocational and functional rehabilitation.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, West and South West of England, Wales, Avon, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Worcestershire

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Pain management, Motivational issues, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Sally-Ann

Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

OT Sally-Ann specialises in paediatrics and sensory integration, and has a wealth of experience.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, East Midlands, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation, Learning disability

Maire

Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Maire is an experienced and knowledgeable Paediatric OT who support children of all ages across Northern Ireland.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Northern Ireland

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

BOBATH

Specialist skills

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

Nikki

Renfrewshire, Scotland

Based in Renfrewshire, Nikki is a highly skilled Paediatric OT with over 25 years’ experience.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Argyll and Bute, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Glasgow (City of), North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Lothian, Glasgow, Edinburgh

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

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

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

Victoria

Cardiff, Newport

Based in Newport, Wales, Vikki is a Paediatric OT specialising in Sensory Integration and hearing impairments.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, South East of England, Wales, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Birmingham

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mairead

Belfast, Down

Occupational Therapist Mairead, specializing in pediatrics and neurological rehabilitation, brings over a decade of expertise since qualifying in 2009.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

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

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

BOBATH, CBT, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

PIPs, Fatigue management, Pain management, Daily living skills, Community access, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, DMO (Lycra) Splinting, Splinting, Sign Language, Wheelchair accreditation, Anxiety management & relaxation

Marie

Worcestershire, West Midlands

Based in Evesham, Worcestershire, Marie is a Paediatric OT specialising in neurological conditions and brain injury.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment

Further qualifications

BOBATH

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Shivangi

London - South, Kent

Shivangi is an experienced Paediatric OT based in London who supports children with a wide range of conditions and disabilities.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

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

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, BOBATH, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

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

Sarah

Swindon, Wiltshire

Based in Swindon, Sarah is a Paediatric OT visiting children in a home or school setting across the South-West.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Berkshire, Bristol, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Swindon

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation

Specialist skills

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

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

Client feedback

Further reading

Interested in Private Practice

Pocket Guide to Fine Motor Development in Early Years

Our Clinical Lead Emma shares with the paediatric OT community a helpful check list for fine motor skill development in 2-5 year olds. This provides useful guidance and example activity ideas that paediatric OTs can use to when observing children interacting with their environment.

Read more

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