Who: Preschool students
When: 90 minutes session once a week. Duration: 12 weeks.
Where: Casa di Gioia, via Vincenzo Monti 18, Roma
Why: Handwriting is like the tip of the iceberg, it the skill that is visible and often noticed in the school setting. However, underneath the surface there are many components that go into handwriting, such as: postural control, motor integration, an efficient visual system, and symbolic thinking. In order for handwriting to be effortless all of these components must be well integrated. Handwriting is not only connected to academic performance, but is a great form of expression and communication throughout life.
“Happy Hands” Group addresses the underlying components of handwriting through fun activities. By strengthening the following component pieces of handwriting a students’ entire development is boosted which will support learning and success at school. Handwriting components addressed:
Postural control: create a stable base by strengthen core muscles. Having a stable and aligned trunk provides the foundation for limb and head control during gross and fine motor tasks
Visual system: looking beyond visual acuity to how the small muscles of the eyes are able to work together in a coordinated way (ocular-motor control). Moving our eyes across the paper or from the paper to the whiteboard without effort is key to reducing ocular-motor fatigue, which allows for increased attention
Reflex integration: everyone is born with an innate motor repertoire (reflexes) that help us adapt to the environment as babies develop new motor skills. As a child grows reflexes become integrated and motor responses become intentional. When reflex integration doesn’t happen naturally in development, this impacts motor systems ability to work efficiently.
Fine motor skills: this is where the magic happens. In addition to strengthening the foundation (postural control, visual system, reflex integration) we will introduce fine motor activities that increase hand strength, left vs. right awareness, and in hand manipulation skills necessary for writing
How: All activities will take place in a fun and interactive group setting. Therapists are trained in total development and will take social-emotional development into consideration throughout the group to ensure a positive experience for all children. Handwriting Without Tears curriculum will be referenced throughout the groups to support visual spatial development, pre-writing strokes, and letter formation.