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Perceptual Reasoning, Handwriting and Autism


Neurology published research on a small study consisting of 24 adolescents, half with autism and half without autism. Using the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment Test, intelligence test and Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs (PANESS), the researchers found that the adolescents with autism showed worse overall scores on handwriting just like younger children with autism exhibit.  Previous research indicated that in younger children with autism, motor skills (e.g., timed movements) predicted handwriting deficits.  In this study, it was found that the perceptual reasoning skills were significantly predictive of handwriting skills where motor skills were not. One of the researchers, Dr. Bastian states:

“Our research suggests that adolescents with autism may be able to learn and utilize compensatory strategies that involve reasoning skills to compensate for their motor impairments.”

Perceptual reasoning is the ability to reason and solve problems when non verbal material is presented. Just like occupational therapists and teachers offer environmental modifications for handwriting such as pencil grips remember to consider how the material to be written is presented. Try modifying the work to assist a student’s perceptual reasoning by changing the font type or size, reorganizing material or reducing visual distraction on the page or shorter assignments.

Kennedy Krieger Institute. New Study Affirms Handwriting Problems Affect Children with Autism into the Teenage Years. Retrieved from the web on 11/23/2016 from https://www.kennedykrieger.org/overview/news/new-study-affirms-handwriting-problems-affect-children-autism-into-teenage-years

Handwriting Stations

Handwriting Stations digital download includes the materials to create a handwriting station on a tri-fold or in a folder. The station includes proper letter formation for capital and lower case letters, correct posture, pencil grip, warm up exercises, letter reversals tips and self check sheet.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.