A short-term graphomotor program for improving writing readiness skills of first-grade students.
Children with fine-motor problems and handwriting difficulties often are referred for occupational therapy. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of a short-term treatment on the fine-motor and graphomotor skills of first-grade students. We recruited 52 first-grade students who had scored below the 21st percentile on the Visual-Motor Integration test from schools in a city with a low socioeconomic, mixed (Arab and Jewish) population. The children were randomly divided into an intervention group and a control group. Before and after the intervention, we administered two tests to both groups. Students in the intervention group made significant gains both in the total score on the graphomotor test (Developmental Test of Visual Perception) and on the fine-motor test (Bruininks-Oseretsky Motor Development Scale). This study provided preliminary evidence of the efficacy of a short-term graphomotor intervention. The results increased the feasibility of implementing occupational therapy intervention in the Israeli school system, allowing treatment of more children using the same resources.