Effectiveness of an integrated handwriting program for first-grade students: a pilot study.
We developed and piloted a program for first-grade students to promote development of legible handwriting and writing fluency. The Write Start program uses a coteaching model in which occupational therapists and teachers collaborate to develop and implement a handwriting-writing program. The small-group format with embedded individualized supports allows the therapist to guide and monitor student performance and provide immediate feedback. The 12-wk program was implemented with 1 class of 19 students. We administered the Evaluation of Children's Handwriting Test, Minnesota Handwriting Assessment, and Woodcock-Johnson Fluency and Writing Samples test at baseline, immediately after the Write Start program, and at the end of the school year. Students made large, significant gains in handwriting legibility and speed and in writing fluency that were maintained at 6-mo follow-up. The Write Start program appears to promote handwriting and writing skills in first-grade students and is ready for further study in controlled trials.