Handwriting is a complex human activity that entails an intricate blend of cognitive, kinesthetic, and perceptual-motor components. Children are expected to acquire a level of handwriting proficiency that enables them to make skillful use of handwriting as a tool to carry out their work at school. Poor handwriters have difficulty developing their writing skills and, as a result, often suffer in their educational and emotional development. This article highlights the importance of handwriting and reviews the development of methods used to evaluate handwriting difficulties. Included also is a discussion of methodological aspects of current handwriting evaluations and a presentation of research on the use of a computerized system that may be helpful in better understanding the handwriting process of poor writers. The article concludes by outlining future directions in handwriting evaluation that combine the assessment of the handwriting product with computerized analysis of the handwriting process.
Published in: Educational Psychology Review, 2003, 15(1), 41-81.