Is handwriting causally related to learning to write? Treatment of handwriting problems in beginning writers.
The contribution of handwriting to learning to write was examined in an experimental training study involving beginning writers with and without an identified disability. First-grade children experiencing handwriting and writing difficulties participated in 27 fifteen-min sessions designed to improve the accuracy and fluency of their handwriting. In comparison to their peers in a contact control condition receiving instruction in phonological awareness, students in the handwriting condition made greater gains in handwriting as well as compositional fluency immediately following instruction and 6 months later. The effects of instruction were similar for students with and without an identified disability. These findings indicate that handwriting is causally related to writing and that explicit and supplemental handwriting instruction is an important element in preventing writing difficulties in the primary grades.