Improving Handwriting Skills in Children with Autism

“The frequently recommended traditional dynamic tripod grip is still a grip to encourage. Its functional attraction lies in a combination of mobility and stability without unwarranted pressure involved.” (Selin, 2003, p.105)

Developing good handwriting skills is crucial for school-going children since it is critical for school success. However, children with autism tend to have specific handwriting difficulties. For instance, children with autism tend to struggle in forming letters than do neuro-typical peers of the same age and levels of intelligence. For instance, as shown in the figure (Fuentes, Mostofsky, & Bastian, 2009, p.1535) below, children with autism tend to write in a way where there are sharp points to sections that should be curved (e.g. “o” and “s”). As handwriting is a complex skill that relies on several sub-skills, such as “visual and motor coordination, cognitive and perceptual skills, as well as tactile and kinaesthetic sensitivities,” it is understandable that children with autism display difficulties in handwriting.

Figure 1